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The Color of the Third DegreeRacism, Police Torture, and Civil Rights in the American South, 1930-1955$
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Silvan Niedermeier

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652979

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652979.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Police Torture and “Legal Lynchings” in the American South

Police Torture and “Legal Lynchings” in the American South

Chapter:
(p.14) Chapter One Police Torture and “Legal Lynchings” in the American South
Source:
The Color of the Third Degree
Author(s):

Silvan Niedermeier

, Paul Cohen
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652979.003.0002

This chapter examines the connection between the torture inflicted by law enforcement officials in the South during the 1930s and 1940s and the decline in the number of lynching of African Americans during this period. The Scottsboro case displays the racist structure of the justice system and outlines the tradition of violence and pattern of African Americans accused of rape and sexual assault. The illustration of violence further examines black history involving the Reconstruction era in which African American challenged for equality against white supremacy. Emphasized in this chapter is the process of torture by lynching against African American. Lynching aimed to discipline landless blacks and serve as a fear and embed a stereotype of racial difference. The decrease of lynching occurred in the early 1900s as the South questioned their reputation, and the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching (ASWPL) promoted anti-lynching campaigns. The case of Ed Brown, Arthur Ellington, and Henry Shields documents the violent dynamics that tended to emerge as state authorities increasingly asserted their monopoly on the use of force in the South.

Keywords:   lynching, African Americans, Scottsboro case, Reconstruction, white supremacy, Decrease of lynching, Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching (ASWPL), Ed Brown, Arthur Ellington, Henry Shields

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