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LynchedThe Victims of Southern Mob Violence$
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Amy Kate Bailey and Stewart E. Tolnay

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620879

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620879.001.0001

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The Victims of Southern Mob Violence

The Victims of Southern Mob Violence

(p.203) Chapter Eight The Victims of Southern Mob Violence

Amy Kate Bailey

Stewart E. Tolnay

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents a summary and the main conclusions of the present study. One general conclusion is that lynch victims were a heterogeneous group. Therefore, we must be cautious about considering a portrait of African American male victims based solely on their average characteristics. While the average black male victim was twenty-nine or thirty-two years of age, some victims were old men and others were young boys. A majority of victims were illiterate, but 45 percent could read and write. Most victims held unskilled occupations and lived on rented farms, but some were skilled workers who owned their nonfarm dwelling. A comparison of the personal characteristics of victims and non-victims offers support for Roberta Senechal de la Roche’s theoretical perspective emphasizing the social marginality of victims. Black men who were married and the head of their household enjoyed a lower likelihood of victimization compared to men who were not married and/or household heads. And that advantage prevailed in most settings throughout the South. Also supporting Senechal de la Roche’s theory is the finding that men who experienced lifetime interstate migration suffered from a significantly greater likelihood of victimization than did men who had not moved across a state line, at least in some contexts.

Keywords:   southern lynching, lynch victims, mob violence, social marginality, victimization

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