Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lynching in America

Tree, in my backyard

I'm still slow-reading through James Cone's sad, beautifully written The Cross and the Lynching Tree. This read is informative, but mostly all self-examination for me. Search me, O God, and know my heart. See if there be any wicked ways in me.

Cone writes:

"The say a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps that accounts for the powerful impact of James Allen's Without Sanctuary (2003), a photographic account of "the lynching industry," a phrase that W.E. B. Dubois used as the subject of one of his editorials in The Crisis magazine, February 1915... Allen's collection of lynching photos was also shown at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site in downtown, Atlanta to 176,000 viewers who reacted with tears, anger, resentment, and clenched jaws... When I saw these pictures in New York and Atlanta, there was a hushed silence among the black and white viewers, as they marched slowly, contemplating the contorted agony of black bodies hanging from trees, bridges, and lampposts." (98)

See Allen's Without Sanctuary website.