Tuesday, February 10, 2015

History of lynching: Arkansas lands atop another bad list

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge NO. 1 IN LYNCHINGS: Arkansas county tops the list. - NEW YORK TIMES
  • New York Times
  • NO. 1 IN LYNCHINGS: Arkansas county tops the list.

The New York Times reports today
on a new history of lynchings in the South, which details 3,959 victims of "racial terror lynchings" in the 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950.

It's the work of the Equal Justice Initiative of Montgomery, Ala., whose founder, Bryan Stevenson, hopes to raise money for memorials and force people to consider the country's fraught racial history. It will be controversial and unwelcome in many places.

Take Arkansas. It lands atop the list for counties with the most lynchings in the 12 states — Phillips County with 243. There's a gruesome asterisk to that number. It's inflated by 237 people killed in 1919 in the Elaine Race Riot.

An entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas reports on the state's lynchings.

The encyclopedia's lynching total in the state doesn't include the Elaine Massacre, a number that is imprecise and also sometimes differentiated from a lynching. 

Correction: I inadvertently linked to an account of another Arkansas lynching, not the Elaine deaths, in the original post.

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