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Lynching and Spectacle – Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940

Amy Louise Wood


Lynch mobs in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America exacted horrifying public torture and mutilation on their victims. This book explains what it meant for white Americans to perform and witness these sadistic spectacles, and how lynching played a role in establishing and affirming white supremacy. Lynching, it argues, overlapped with a variety of cultural practices and performances, both traditional and modern, including public executions, religious rituals, photography, and cinema, all of which encouraged the horrific violence and gave it social acceptability. However, the boo ... More

Keywords: lynch mobs, public torture, mutilation, lynching, anti-lynching, white supremacy, social instability, victims

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780807832547
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.5149/9780807878118_wood


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Amy Louise Wood, author