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For scores of years, newspapers printed hate, leading to racist terror lynchings and massacres of Black Americans

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Hundreds of white-owned newspapers across the country incited the racist terror lynchings and massacres of thousands of Black Americans. In their headlines, these newspapers often promoted the brutality of white…

AP spread racist coverage to a national audience

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When 17-year-old Henry Smith left Paris, Texas, after being questioned in the rape and murder of a white toddler, a railroad company offered free transportation to anyone who wanted to…

The lynching of Willie Earle prompted a trial, but no convictions

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The 1947 lynching of Willie Earle in Greenville, South Carolina, by some accounts the state’s last, was just like so many others.
Elaine, Arkansas

Two narratives: How a 1919 massacre tore Elaine, Arkansas, apart

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On a late September night in 1919, about 100 Black farmers seeking fairer prices for their crops gathered for a union meeting at a church a few miles north of…

History focuses on men, but Black women were lynched, too

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It was a Sunday morning, July 12, 1914. The woman had been in the Elloree, South Carolina, jailhouse since the night before. Soon, a mob would come, put her in…
The new historical marker for Mary Turner and the Lynching Rampage in 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Mary Turner Project.)

A pregnant woman’s lynching resonates through generations

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It was May 18, 1918, and Mary Turner was grieving. Her husband, Hayes Turner, had been lynched without a trial, accused of being an accomplice in the murder of a…

Newspapers falsely reported Slocum Massacre as a race revolt

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White men bought ammunition and stopped at saloons on a hot summer day in 1910 in Slocum, Texas. They had sheltered their wives and children in churches and schools. They…

Atlanta newspapers’ white supremacy fueled 1906 race massacre

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In 1906, two of Atlanta’s most prominent newspapermen committed an act that many of today’s journalists would consider a sin: Hoke Smith, the publisher of The Atlanta Journal, and Clark…

‘We can do better’: Annapolis has embraced the need to address its legacy of lynchings and racial terror

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On a typical day in downtown Annapolis, tourists fill the brightly adorned curio and clothing shops that line Main Street, squeezed in between fudge stores, seafood restaurants and other eateries.

Newspapers called Tallahassee lynching victims animals, insane

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Members of the Tallahassee Community Remembrance Project waited under the roof of a gray building where the Leon County Jail once stood, seeing if the rain would pass. They were…

Kentucky newspapers often blamed Black victims for lynchings

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Holding 2-year-old Ransey in her arms, Annie Walker begged the Night Riders for mercy. “Disregarding her pleadings, the infuriated mob opened fire and a bullet pierced the body of the…

Columbus, Mississippi, newspapers were not innocent bystanders to racist violence

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COLUMBUS, Miss. — In a roughly 150-square-foot room on the second floor of The Commercial Dispatch, the newspaper of record for Columbus and surrounding Lowndes County, Mississippi, are large, heavy…

Yazoo City’s newspaper had a history of providing a forum for its pro-lynching readership

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Bettye Gardner remembers her family telling her the tragic story of William Henderson Foote, her granduncle who was lynched in Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1883.

Massive public lynchings of Black men were nurtured by Waco, Texas, newspapers

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In the early 20th century, the people of Waco dubbed their city the “Athens of Texas.” Waco, however, had another side.

Despite repeated efforts, a federal anti-lynching law has not passed Congress in 130 years

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Although lynch mobs primarily targeted Black people, the first effort to pass a federal anti-lynching law had nothing to do with African Americans. Instead, it followed the 1891 lynchings of…

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Inspired by Associate Professor DeNeen Brown’s reporting on the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism recruited 31 journalism students from the University of Maryland, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. They spent the summer of 2021 digging deep into archives and interviewing descendants, experts and historians to document the power of white-owned newspapers to harm the Black community. They were joined in the fall by another 27 students from UMD and two students from the University of Arkansas.

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