Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases
In “Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases,” historical activist Ida B. Wells discusses the injustice and horrors of Southern lynch laws, focusing especially on the violence enacted against African Americans following the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text after they finish Chapter 9, when an acquaintance of Richard’s is killed and he fears for his own safety. Students can use this pairing to explore the violence African Americans experienced in the South. What are the type of “crimes” that Ida B. Wells describes black men and boys being killed for in the South? How does this correlate to the reasons that Richard, and other black people in the South, experienced violence and the constant threat of violence? How do the white people that Richard encounters use fear and the threat of violence to control his life?