Stone Collection: Volume 20 - Item 52
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52. Mary Church Terrell, “Lynching from a Negro’s Point of View,” North American Review (June 1904): 853-68.
Vigorous denunciation of lynching in the South. The author argues that justification for lynching by white Southerners is based on four fallacies. First, the allegation of rape is merely the pretext for a lynching and usually is not the real cause. Second, social equality as espoused by African Americans bears no relation to the crime of rape, when it is committed. Third, the moral sensibilities of African American leaders are not “so stunted and dull” as to make them incapable of appreciating “the enormity and heinousness of rape.” Finally, accounts of lynchings in newspapers are seldom accurate, and the facts of each case are usually suppressed. In short, “lynching is the aftermath of slavery,” and not an accepted alternative to the judicial system.