White violence against African Americans was common in the United States, even after slavery ended. Groups of whites sometimes took African Americans from their homes to beat, shoot, or lynch them. The home was no place for protection against such violence. In fact, the home could be—and often was—burned down.
It was acceptable in many places for whites to treat blacks badly. This treatment would have been a crime if the black victim had been white. But many local white law officers permitted these activities. The national government stood by without doing much of anything until the civil rights movements of the 1950’s and 1960’s began to bring about the needed changes.