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Old 07-02-2022, 01:18 PM
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Default On This Date

A thread featuring a daily entry to help understand America's systemic racism..
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A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:19 PM
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Default May 02 (1963)

Black Children Begin Movement Protesting Segregation; Face Police Brutality

On May 2, 1963, more than 700 Black children peacefully protested racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, as part of the Children's Crusade, beginning a movement that sparked widely-publicized police brutality that shocked the nation and spurred major civil rights advances.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had launched the Children's Crusade to revive the Birmingham anti-segregation campaign. As part of that effort, more than 1,000 African American children trained in nonviolent protest tactics walked out of their classes on May 2 and assembled at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to march to downtown Birmingham. Though hundreds were assaulted, arrested, and transported to jail in school buses and paddy wagons, the children refused to relent their peaceful demonstration.

The next day, when hundreds more children began to march, Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor directed local police and firemen to attack the children with high-pressure fire hoses, batons, and police dogs. Images of children being brutally assaulted by police and snarling canines appeared on television and in newspapers throughout the nation and world, provoking global outrage. The U.S. Department of Justice soon intervened.

The campaign to desegregate Birmingham ended on May 10 when city officials agreed to desegregate the city's downtown stores and release jailed demonstrators in exchange for an end to SCLC's protests. The following evening, disgruntled proponents of segregation responded to the agreement with a series of local bombings.

In the wake of the Children's Crusade, the Birmingham Board of Education announced that all children who participated in the march would be suspended or expelled from school. A federal district court upheld the ruling, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ultimately reversed the decision and ordered the students re-admitted to school.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:23 PM
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Default May 03 (1913)

California Law Prohibits Asian Immigrants from Owning Land

On May 3, 1913, California enacted the Alien Land Law, barring Asian immigrants from owning land. California tightened the law further in 1920 and 1923, barring the leasing of land and land ownership by American-born children of Asian immigrant parents or by corporations controlled by Asian immigrants. These laws were supported by the California press, as well as the Hollywood Association, Japanese and Korean (later Asiatic) Exclusion League and the Anti-Jap Laundry League (both founded by labor unions). Combined, these groups claimed tens of thousands of members.

Though especially active in California, animosity for Asian immigrants operated on the national level too. In May 1912, President Woodrow Wilson wrote to a California backer: “In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie immigration I stand for the national policy of exclusion (or restricted immigration)...We cannot make a homogeneous population out of people who do not blend with the Caucasian race...Oriental coolieism will give us another race problem to solve, and surely we have had our lesson.”

California did not stand alone. Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming all enacted discriminatory laws restricting Asians’ rights to hold land in America. In 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed various versions of the discriminatory land laws—and upheld every single one. Most of these discriminatory state laws remained in place until the 1950s, and some even longer. Kansas and New Mexico did not repeal their provisions until 2002 and 2006, respectively. Florida's state constitution contained an alien land law provision until 2018, when voters passed a ballot measure to repeal it.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:27 PM
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Default May 4 (1921)

Chicago Real Estate Board Votes Unanimously to Expel Members Who Sell to Black Families in White Neighborhoods

On May 4, 1921, the Chicago Real Estate Board voted unanimously to expel members from the board who sold property to Black families in neighborhoods where white people lived. The president of the board, M. L. Smith, openly expressed his commitment to maintaining segregation throughout Chicago and advocated for a plan to exclude Black families from most of Chicago’s available housing.

During the era of racial terror lynchings beginning during Reconstruction, white mobs terrorized millions of Black women, men, and children throughout the American South. At the turn of the century, seeking freedom from the constant and widespread terror of lynching and other racial violence, more than six million Black people left the South in what became known as the Great Migration. As a consequence, the population of western and northern cities like Chicago saw an increase in Black people who sought to make their homes away from the violence they had experienced in the South.

Seeking housing and employment, Black people in cities like Chicago were met with steady, violent, and constant resistance to integration. In the 1920s, white real estate agents and the Chicago Real Estate Board began organizing white citizens throughout Chicago to establish “neighborhood covenants,” or contractual agreements among property owners prohibiting them from leasing or selling their properties to Black people. Drafted by a lawyer who was a member of the Chicago Planning Commission, a template racial restrictive covenant, which was circulated by the Real Estate Board, targeted anyone with “1/8 part or more negro blood" or who had "any appreciable admixture of negro blood” from buying or renting a home in neighborhoods where white people already lived.

On May 4, 1921, the Chicago Real Estate Board voted unanimously to expel members of the board who did not join this project of residential segregation. If members sold property to Black people “in a block where there are only white owners,” they would be met by “immediate expulsion.” Unsatisfied with this, the Chicago Real Estate Board launched a campaign for the next decade to increase the use of neighborhood covenants to restrict nearly all of Chicago to white residents, including organizing a series of speakers who traveled around the city of Chicago to promote residential segregation. Advocating for residential segregation, board president M.L. Smith supported the expansion of the South Side of Chicago—where Black people were permitted to live—stating, “if you provide the places, the negroes will segregate themselves.”

By the end of the 1920s, the Board’s efforts meant that restrictions for Black homeowners and renters were so far widespread that these covenants, according to the Hyde Park Herald, stretched “like a marvelous delicately woven chain of armor” from “the northern gates of Hyde Park at 35th and Drexel Boulevard to Woodlawn, Park Manor, South Shore, Windsor Park, and all the far-flung white communities of the South Side.” At the end of the decade, close to 90% of Chicago neighborhoods were covered by covenants restricting access for Black people.

White real estate associations, homeowners, and politicians in Chicago remained committed to residential segregation well into the later half of the 20th century. To learn more, read the Equal Justice Initiative’s report, Segregation in America.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2022, 01:30 PM
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Default May 5 (1943)

To Prevent Interracial Marriage, California Requires That Marriage Licenses Indicate Race

On May 5, 1943, a new law went into effect in California, requiring that all marriage licenses indicate the race of the parties to be married. This law, passed unanimously by the all-white, all-male state legislature, was designed to help the state enforce its existing ban on interracial marriage. As California law declared at that time: “no license may be issued authorizing the marriage of a white person with a Negro, mulatto, Mongolian, or member of the Malay race.” Any interracial couple who defied the statute, or any clerk who provided a marriage license to an interracial couple, faced a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 10 years in prison.

“Anti-miscegenation laws,” or laws banning white people from marrying Black and other non-white partners, have a long history in this country—often pre-dating the creation of the U.S. altogether. Northern and southern states alike passed these laws during the colonial era and throughout the first decades of the nation’s existence; by the start of the Civil War in 1861, 28 states had interracial marriage bans—and seven more passed them before the war’s end in 1865.

Though many northern states repealed their anti-miscegenation laws before or soon after the Civil War, many southern and western states responded to the emancipation of millions of enslaved Black people by strengthening their bans. Fears of a weakened racial hierarchy were especially intense in the South, where the bulk of newly-freed Black Americans resided, and where white people had long feared that ending slavery would be "the first step to total social equality and unrestricted sex across racial lines." Similarly, many western states feared that the end of the Civil War would bring an influx of emancipated Black people, and lawmakers saw bans on interracial marriage as one way to reinforce the racial order.

California had banned interracial marriage between white and Black people since first achieving statehood in 1850. Under a law passed that year, “all marriages of whites with negroes or mulattoes are declared to be null and void.” California later expanded the law to also ban white people from marrying people defined as "mongolian" or “malay,” in response to a subsequent increase in immigration from Asia. The state’s white community widely supported the enactment of these policies and the officials who passed them.

The California Supreme Court struck down both the 1943 statute requiring race on marriage licenses and the state's much older ban on interracial marriage on October 1, 1948 in the case of Perez v. Sharp. Nearly 20 years later, on June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided Loving v. Virginia, declaring bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional and striking down such laws in the 16 total states that still had them. This decision overturned the Court’s 1883 decision in Pace v. Alabama, which had upheld the constitutionality of laws banning interracial relations, enabling those laws to persist throughout the country for more than 80 additional years.

Even after the law changed, social and political support for interracial marriage bans lingered. In 2000, Alabama became the last state to repeal its interracial marriage ban when residents voted to remove an anti-miscegenation provision from the state constitution—more than 30 years after Loving made it unenforceable.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:32 PM
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Default May 06 (1882)

Chinese Exclusion Act Signed into Law

On May 6, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed into law the Chinese Exclusion Act. The first major law restricting voluntary immigration to the U.S., the act banned all immigrants from China for 10 years, prohibited Chinese immigrants from becoming American citizens, and restricted the entry and re-entry of Chinese nationals.

As Chinese people joined the flow of migrants to the West Coast of the U.S. after the Gold Rush of 1849, many white Americans resented economic competition from Chinese workers, denounced Chinese people as racially inferior, and blamed them for white unemployment and declining wages. The Exclusion Act kept many Chinese nationals from entering the U.S. and fueled mistreatment of Chinese people in America. Soon, anti-Chinese violence in states like Wyoming and Idaho left Chinese immigrants dead, wounded, and fleeing their homes in fear.

Though initially authorized to last 10 years, the Exclusion Act was extended and strengthened over the next 80. In 1892, Congress extended the act for another decade, and in 1902, lawmakers made the act permanent and added more discriminatory provisions. The legal ban on immigration from China was slightly loosened in 1943, but large-scale Chinese immigration was not restored until the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965.

Like Chinese immigrants did for generations, other hopeful immigrants to the U.S. continue to struggle against unjust laws and harmful abuse rooted in racial prejudice.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:29 PM
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Default Oh look.. another massacre of black citizens in "not racist" American History

September 30, 1919 ~ Hundreds of Black People Killed in Elaine, Arkansas, Massacre

On the night of September 30, 1919, approximately 100 Black farmers attended a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America at a church in Phillips County, Arkansas. Many of the farmers were sharecroppers on white-owned plantations in the area and the meeting was held to discuss ways they could organize to demand fairer payments for their crops.

Black labor unions such as the Progressive Farmers were deeply resented among white landowners throughout the country because unions threatened to weaken white aristocratic power. The union also made efforts to subvert racial divisions in labor relations and had hired a white attorney to negotiate with land owners for better cotton prices.

Knowing that Black union organizing often attracted opposition, Black men stood as armed guards around the church while the Phillips County meeting took place. When a group of white people from the Missouri-Pacific Railroad attempted to intrude and spy on the meeting, the guards held them back and a shootout erupted. At least two white men were killed, and enraged white mobs quickly formed.

The mobs descended on the nearby Black town of Elaine, Arkansas, destroying homes and businesses and attacking any Black people in their path over the coming days. Terrified Black residents, including women, children, and the elderly, fled their homes and hid for their lives in nearby woods and fields. A responding federal troop regiment claimed only two Black people were killed but many reports challenged the white soldiers’ credibility and accused them of participating in the massacre. Today, historians estimate hundreds of Black people were killed in the massacre.

When the violence was quelled, 67 Black people were arrested and charged with inciting violence, while dozens more faced other charges. No white attackers were prosecuted, but 12 Black union members convicted of riot-related charges were sentenced to death. The NAACP, along with local African American lawyer Scipio Africanus Jones, represented the men on appeal and successfully obtained reversals of all of their death sentences.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:38 AM
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10/4/1916 ~ William Spencer, a Black Man, Lynched in Graceton, Texas

On October 4, 1916, William Spencer, a 30-year-old Black man and a husband and father of four children, was lynched by a white mob near Graceton, Texas. Mr. Spencer, who was a farmhand, had a confrontation with the constable and was arrested and taken to a local jail, where a white mob seized and lynched him.

Earlier that day, Constable Ed Harrell served a writ on Mr. Spencer, asserting that he had a bill due for some cotton, and started to seize Mr. Spencer’s property. Mr. Spencer objected and armed himself, prompting Mr. Harrell to shoot Mr. Spencer twice, once in the leg and once the arm. Afterwards, Mr. Spencer was arrested and placed in jail. Later that evening, without an investigation or a trial, a white mob seized Mr. Spencer and lynched him. The next morning, Mr. Spencer’s body was found hanging from a tree, riddled with bullets, and with his clothes torn off.

Racial terror lynching was a tactic used to maintain racial control over Black Americans and to enforce Jim Crow laws and segregation. During this era of racial terrorism, many victims of terror lynchings were murdered for demanding basic rights and fair treatment. It was common for white people to exploit impoverished Black laborers, like Mr. Spencer, who did not have the means or the social apparatus to object to charges or infringements on their rights without threat of serious punishment, violence, or death.

Mr. Spencer was one of at least three documented racial terror lynchings in Upshur County, Texas. Learn more about how over 6,500 Black women, men, and children were victims of racial terror lynching in the U.S. between 1865-1950.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 01-11-2023, 10:39 AM
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January 11, 1896 ~ White Mob Murders Interracial Couple in Louisiana

On the night of January 11, 1896, a mob of 20 white men set fire to the home of Patrick and Charlotte “Lottie” Morris in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, killing them both. Mr. Morris, a white railroad hand, and his wife, a Black woman, were targeted because of their interracial marriage, as well as their operation of a gathering place and hotel for Black people.

The white mob first attempted to burn down the Morrises’ home at 11 pm that night, but Mr. Morris discovered the fire and extinguished it. By midnight, the white mob had set a second fire that could not be controlled. When the couple attempted to escape the flames through the front door of their home, the mob attacked them with a barrage of gunfire. Mrs. Morris was shot and killed at the doorstep while Mr. Morris was maimed by a shot to his leg before being killed as well.

The Morrises’ 12-year-old son, Patrick Morris Jr., witnessed the events and escaped through the back door of the home. As the boy ran for safety, the mob shot into the darkness after him but missed. Patrick spent the night hiding underneath a nearby home in the neighborhood.

The next morning, community members found that much of the Morrises’ home had been destroyed by the fire. Mr. and Mrs. Morris’s charred remains were found inside the home, and a coroner’s examination revealed that one of the bodies had been decapitated; it was unclear whether this act was carried out before or after death. Despite eye-witness statements from their son, no one was ever held accountable for their deaths.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 01-12-2023, 09:39 AM
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January 12, 1931 ~ Black Man Burned Alive by White Mob in Maryville, Missouri; Black Residents Flee

On January 12, 1931, a mob of 2,000 white men, women, and children seized a Black man named Raymond Gunn, placed him on the roof of the local white schoolhouse, and burned him alive in a public spectacle lynching meant to terrorize the entire Black community in Maryville, Missouri.

Days before, a white school teacher had been found murdered and suspicion fell on Mr. Gunn, who was arrested. Many Black people were lynched across the South under accusation of murder. During this era of racial terror, mere suggestions of Black-on-white violence could provoke mob violence and lynching before the judicial system could or would act. The deep racial hostility permeating Southern society often served to focus suspicion on Black communities after a crime was discovered, whether or not there was evidence to support the suspicion, and accusations lodged against Black people were rarely subject to serious scrutiny.

Following Mr. Gunn’s arrest, police took Mr. Gunn to jail in a neighboring county due to threats of lynching. At the peak of racial terror lynchings in this country, it was not uncommon for lynch mobs to seize their victims from jails, prisons, courtrooms, or out of the hands of guards like in this case. Though they were armed and charged with protecting the men and women in their custody, police and other officials almost never used force to resist white lynch mobs intent on killing Black people. In some cases, police officials were even found to be complicit or active participants in lynchings.

On the morning of Mr. Gunn’s arraignment, a mob of 2,000 white men, women, and children gathered outside the courthouse. Despite the previous attacks and threats of violence, the local sheriff did not request assistance from the National Guard. With little resistance from local law enforcement, and 60 members of the National Guard at ease in an armory one block from the courthouse, Mr. Gunn was seized by the white mob and marched four miles down the road to the white schoolhouse. The mob chained Mr. Gunn to the rooftop of the building, doused the building in gasoline, and celebrated as it burned Mr. Gunn alive.

This public spectacle lynching was meant to terrorize the Black community of Maryville. The practice of terrorizing members of the Black community following racial violence was common during this period. Southern lynching was not only intended to impose “popular justice” or retaliation for a specific crime. Rather, these lynchings were meant to send a broader message of domination and to instill fear within the entire Black community. In the days following Mr. Gunn’s lynching, more than 20% of Maryville's Black population fled the town in fear. Despite investigations initiated by state officials, no one was ever arrested or convicted of any crime related to the lynching of Raymond Gunn.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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Old 01-13-2023, 11:06 AM
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January 13, 1904 ~White Mob Lynches Black Man in SC for Allegedly Knocking on White Woman's Door

On January 13, 1904, a mob of white people lynched a Black man known as General Lee in Reevesville, South Carolina, for allegedly knocking on the door of a white woman’s house. The night before, a white woman reported that she had opened the door to her home after hearing a knock and saw a Black man running away from her house.

The next day, a group of white men from the town went to the local magistrate to seek a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Lee, whose foot they claimed could have made a track similar to the ones found outside the woman's home. Authorities arrested Mr. Lee on the evening of January 13 and charged him with “criminally assaulting a white woman” for allegedly knocking on her door.

One mile outside of Reevesville, a mob of 50 white men seized Mr. Lee from police officers who were transferring him by buggy to a local jail. The police officers who abandoned Mr. Lee reported hearing gun shots as they fled the scene. Two days later, Mr. Lee was found tied to a tree and shot to death. Newspapers reported that the woman who reported the alleged "crime" knew Mr. Lee and never claimed she believed he was the man at her home that night.

No one was arrested in connection to the murder of General Lee. In a letter to the Governor of South Carolina, the local sheriff in Reevesville justified the mob's actions by suggesting that Mr. Lee was in “bad-standing” with the local community and that people were surprised Mr. Lee “had not been dealt with in like manner several years ago.”

During this era of racial terror, white allegations against Black people were rarely subject to scrutiny and often sparked violent reprisal even when, as here, there was no evidence tying the accused to any offense. Between 1877 and 1950, thousands of Black men were lynched in the U.S., and nearly 1 in 4 were targeted based on the allegation of raping a white woman. These men were subjected to mob murder without investigation or trial, at a time when the definition of Black-on-white “rape” in the South was incredibly broad and required no allegation of force because white institutions, laws, and most white people rejected the idea that a white woman could or would willingly consent to sex with a Black man. This meant that any action by a Black man that could be interpreted as seeking or desiring contact with a white woman might prove deadly. Throughout the lynching era, Black men were lynched for delivering a letter to a white woman, for entering a room where white women were sitting, or, as Mr. Lee was, for knocking on the door of a white woman’s home.

Mr. Lee was one of at least three documented Black lynching victims in Dorchester County and one of 189 in South Carolina between 1865 and 1950. Learn more about this era of racial terror and how over 6,500 Black women, men, and children were victims of racial terror lynching in the U.S. between 1865 and 1950.
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All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. ~ Joseph Conrad
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine
Don't let anyone tell you that your dreams can't come true. They are only afraid that theirs won't and yours will. ~ Robert Evans
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