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This study seeks to identify anti-Black posse-lynchings in the Midwest between 1910 and 1930, and to examine the ways in which they were framed by the media for their readers. It posits that these lynchings emerged as the foremost type of anti-Black lynching by the second decade of the twentieth century, casting doubt thereby on the prevailing scholarly assumption that the number of lynchings declined precipitously in these years. Because most of these incidents received little attention at the time and few received significant attention outside of the locality in which they occurred, this essay uses as its primary documentation the local and regional white newspapers that did record them, however imperfectly, and the data drawn from federal decennial censuses. With its singular focus on white-on-Black incidents, this study targets posse-lynchings as just one of several types of racist violence used to enforce white supremacy over Blacks, and, as such, it does not consider any of the white-on-white posse-lynchings that may have occurred in these years, although these, if present, might merit their own study.


© 2023, Trustees of Indiana University. Posted with permission.

Original published version available at doi.org/10.2979/indimagahist.119.1.01

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Indiana Magazine of History



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