Philip Dray's At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black PDF

By Philip Dray

ISBN-10: 0307430669

ISBN-13: 9780307430663

One can reduce from our country's brutal heritage of lynching. Lynching is termed the final nice skeleton in our nation's closet: It terrorized all of black the United States, claimed hundreds of thousands upon millions of sufferers within the many years among the Eighties and the second one global struggle, and leaves invisible yet deep scars to this present day. the price of pushing lynching into the shadows, however--misremembering it as remoted acts perpetrated by way of bigots on society's fringes--is insupportably excessive: till we know how pervasive and socially authorized the perform was--and, extra very important, why this used to be so--it will hang-out all efforts at racial reconciliation.

"I couldn't suppress the thought," James Baldwin as soon as recalled of seeing the purple clay hills of Georgia on his first journey to the South, "that this earth had got its colour from the blood that had dripped down from those trees." all through the US, not only within the South, blacks accused of a crime--or in basic terms of violating social or racial customs--were hunted by means of mobs, kidnapped from jails, and given precis "justice" in blatant defiance of all promises of due procedure lower than legislation. women and men have been shot, hanged, tortured, and burned, usually in sadistic, picnic-like "spectacle lynchings" related to hundreds of thousands of witnesses. "At the palms of folks unknown" used to be the respectable verdict rendered on each one of these atrocities.

The celebrated historian Philip Dray shines a transparent, vivid gentle in this darkish history--its motives, perpetrators, apologists, and sufferers. He additionally tells the tale of the lads and ladies who led the lengthy and hard struggle to show and remove lynching, together with Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what's worst approximately the United States, their struggle may perhaps stand for what's top: the affection of justice and equity and the conviction that one individual's experience of correct can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark ebook follows the trajectory of either forces over American history--and makes the historical past of lynching belong to us all.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Additional resources for At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America

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This attention can induce further litigation as well as nonlitigious actions (1994, 48–91). Seen in this light, litigation, as one mode of political behavior and legal cultural practice, targets legal victories in courts. But, more significantly, it also represents a publicity tactic aimed at raising legal consciousness and promoting mobilization. Accordingly, McCann conceptualizes legal culture as a process that minimizes the centrality of the courts as a distinct legal actor. This process involves publicizing the case and its conduct while focusing on nonlitigious legal actions, sociopolitical coalitions, and mobilization as the pillars of legal culture.

Historically, liberal legal culture has been primarily individualistic (L. M. Friedman 1990), although liberals have emphasized the importance of groups to multicultural political articulation and participation in decision making. As “associations,” communities have not been considered as warranting collective rights and systematic collective protection in public policy and law (Lomosky 1987; Roberts 1999). In avoiding the logical consequences of this position, liberals have been 34 C ommunities and Law able to continue to embrace the primacy of individual rights (Dahl 1971, 1982; Kymlicka 1995; Smith 1997).

The application of critical communitarianism allows us to examine this contention about postcolonial communal liberation-subordination in a broader context while emphasizing variables that the postcolonial literature has played down: multiculturalism, communal legal cultures, and the interactive practices of states and nonruling communities in and toward law. But it also allows us to proceed one step further: as an extension of communitarianism, critical communitarianism underscores the interplay between state domination and the politics of identities in a communal context.

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At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America by Philip Dray


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