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“lynch Law”—An American Community Enigma, by Henry A. Rhodes

Guide Entry to 89.01.09:

This unit was written with two distinct purposes in mind: One, to supplement or to be incorporated into an American history unit; the other, to expose students to one of the most hideous enigmas ever to plague American communities.

In order to give students a complete picture of the lynching phenomenon in the United States there are four areas related to this topic I wish to explore in this unit. First of all I would like to present the history and evolution of the term “lynch law.” Next, I intend to concentrate on mob mentality and the role played by the Ku Klux Klan, after which a presentation and discussion of several lynchings will occur. Finally, I will conclude with an in-depth examination of the effect lynching has had on the United States.

(Recommended for American History, grades 7-12)

Key Words

Afro-Americans Race Relations Lynching History Communities

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