Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Lynching of Thomas Brooks

I asked for a copy of James Cone's new book The Cross and the Lynching Tree for my birthday. I received it today. I'm reading it now.

"Hundreds of Kodaks clicked all morning at the scene of the lynching. People in automobiles and carriages came from miles around to view the corpse dangling from the end of a rope.... Picture card photographers installed a portable printing plant at the bridge and reaped a harvest in selling postcards showing a photograph of the lynched Negro. Women and children were there by the score. At a number of country schools the day's routine was delayed until boy and girl pupils could get back from viewing the lynched man."
- The Crisis 10, no. 2, June 1915, on the lynching of Thomas Brooks in Fayette County, Tennessee
(In Cone, 1)
Cone writes: "In its heyday, the lynching of black Americans was no secret. It was a public spectacle, often announced in advance in newspapers and over radios, attracting crowds of up to twenty thousand people." (xiv)