Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Southern trees bear a strange fruit

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tarix12.09.2018
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Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

  • Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

  • Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

  • Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,

  • Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

  • Pastoral scene of the gallant south,

  • The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,

  • Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,

  • Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!

  • Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,

  • For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,

  • For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,

  • Here is a strange and bitter crop.



























Lynching is an act of mob violence which results in the death or maiming of a person often suspected, charged, or convicted of a serious crime.

  • Lynching is an act of mob violence which results in the death or maiming of a person often suspected, charged, or convicted of a serious crime.

  • Lynching is a group killing under the justification of serving justice, race or tradition.

  • Lynching often occurs outside of the legal justice system.





William Brown lynched in Omaha, Nebraska on September 28, 1919.

  • William Brown lynched in Omaha, Nebraska on September 28, 1919.

  • Brown was accused of molesting a white girl. The Mayor pleaded with the mob, but the mob set the courthouse on fire, seized him, hung him from a lamppost, mutilated him, rattled his body with bullets and then burned him.



Thomas Shipp & Abram Smith lynched in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930.

  • Thomas Shipp & Abram Smith lynched in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930.

  • These teenagers allegedly shot a white couple during an attempted robbery.

  • James Cameron escaped this lynching.



To maintain the racial order in the south and elsewhere across the country after the end of slavery

  • To maintain the racial order in the south and elsewhere across the country after the end of slavery

  • “To protect white women”

  • To teach children racism

  • To stop blacks from taking full advantage of their legal freedoms & new economic opportunities given during Reconstruction











State Whites Blacks Total

  • State Whites Blacks Total

  • Alabama 48 299 347

  • Arkansas 58 226 284

  • Florida 25 257 282

  • Georgia 39 491 530

  • Kentucky 63 142 205

  • Louisiana 56 335 391

  • Mississippi 40 538 758

  • Missouri 53 69 122

  • North Carolina 15 85 100

  • Oklahoma 82 40 122

  • South Carolina 4 156 160

  • Tennessee 47 204 251

  • Texas 141 352 493

  • Virginia 17 83 100

  • (Illinois 15 19 34)

  • TOTAL 1,297 3,446 4,743





“Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of the intelligent people who openly avow that there is an “unwritten law” that justifies them in putting human beings to death without complaint under oath, without trial by jury, without opportunity to make defense, and without right of appeal…”

  • “Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of the intelligent people who openly avow that there is an “unwritten law” that justifies them in putting human beings to death without complaint under oath, without trial by jury, without opportunity to make defense, and without right of appeal…”

  • - Ida B. Wells, former slave & black journalist







James Weldon Johnson, Walter White (NAACP)

  • James Weldon Johnson, Walter White (NAACP)

  • Jessie Ames Daniel (ASWPL)

  • Many senators and congressmen wrote bills to pass a federal anti-lynching law, but out of more than 200 bills, none could get past the southern Democratic voting bloc in the Senate.

  • Organizations of northern blacks, white & black journalists, and middle-class white women strove to end lynching. We will read about them more in class




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