Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alexander W. Pisciotta
Lynching involves mob violence that is done under the guise of vigilante justice. It has played an extraordinarily important role in American history. For example, from the end of the Civil War in 1865 through the middle of the 20th century, African Americans were subjected to horrific lynchings, often sanctioned by the state, that were aimed at keeping them in their “proper place” in the political, economic, social, cultural, and legal order. “Nigger hunts” and “coon barbecues” were carefully calculated to achieve a common end: limiting the rights of free Blacks, forcing them into submission, and returning them to their pre-Civil War slave status. It should be noted that lynching also occurred in the western United States, with Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans being the targets of the violence. This entry focuses primarily on lynching targeted at African Americans in the southern United States. Each lynching was wholly unique. ...