The anti-lynching movement
was a civil rights movement in the United States
that aimed to eradicate the practice of lynching. Lynching was used as a tool to repress
The anti-lynching movement reached its height between the 1890s and 1930s. The movement was composed mainly of African Americans who tried to persuade politicians to put an end to the practice, but after the failure of this strategy, they pushed for anti-lynching legislation. African American women helped in the formation of the movement
and a large part of the movement was composed of women's organizations.
The first anti-lynching movement was characterized by black convention meets, which were organized in the immediate aftermath of individual incidents. The movement gained wider national support in the 1890s. During this period, two organizations spearheaded the movement - the Afro-American League (AAL) and the National Equal Rights Council (NERC).
On January 4, 1935, Democratic Senators Edward P. Costigan and Robert F. Wagner together worked and set out a new bill that stated “To assure to persons within the jurisdiction of every state the equal protection of the crime of lynching.” The bill was composed with many sections that protected people from all types of lynching crimes.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was established. The NAACP formed a special committee in 1916 in order to push for anti-lynching legislation and to enlighten the public about lynching.
The NAACP youth were part of many rallies. They attended many protest against lynching and wore black in memory of all who had been murdered. They also sold anti-lynching buttons to raise money for the NAACP. The money they raised was to keep the fight against lynching going. They sold a huge amount of buttons that said "Stop Lynching" and made about $869.25. The youth also contributed by having demonstrations to raise awareness about the horrors of lynching. They had these demonstrations in seventy eight different cities all over the United States.
According to Noralee Frankel, the anti-lynching movement had its origin in the freedom movements after the end of the American Civil War, and that it cannot be described only as a result of the reforms during the Progressive Era.
Many women contributed to the anti-lynching movement through the Dyer Bill including Ida B. Wells, Mary Burnett Talbert and Angelina Grimké. The bill was a foundation that exposed both lynching, and the affects it had on the people.
Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells was a significant figure in the anti-lynching movement. After the lynchings of her three friends, she condemned the lynchings in the newspapers Free Speech
, both owned by her. Wells wrote to reveal the abuse, and race violence African Americans had to go through. She was part of many civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, the Niagara Movement and the Afro-American Council.
Wells encourage black women to help work for the Anti-lynching laws to be passed. She was also part of the “First Suffrage Club for Black Women."
Ida B. Wells asked “Is Rape the ‘Cause’ of Lynching?”
in their circular titled “The Shame of America,” that emphasized the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, when they were in the Anti-Lynching Campaigns. Due to the number of 83 women being lynched in a time frame of 30 years plus 3,353 men that were also lynched.
Because of her anti-lynching campaigning she received death threats from racist rioters.
After having her children she got out of the organizations but she kept on protesting against lynching. In 1899 she protested the Sam Hose
Mary Burnett Talbert
Mary B. Talbert was president of the National Association of Colored Women from 1916 to 1920. In 1923 she became vise president of the NAACP and her last contribution was leading the Anti- lynching Crusaders during the anti lynching movement .
In 1922 Talbert and all the Negro women part of the anti-lynching crusaders raise $10,000 for the NAACP.
Angelina Grimké, one of the many New Negro poets, was one of the many women that wrote about the effects, of lynching. Grimké wrote Rachel (play)}Rachel
, one of her most famous plays in which she addresses both the lynching problem and the psychological affects it had on innocence Negro people.
This anti-lynching play was first performed in NAACP anti lynching Drama Committee. One of Grimke's main goals she wanted to accomplish with her play Rachel
was to make white women empathize with the Negro women who witnessed the lynching of their husbands and children.
Elizabeth Brown- Guillory (1996
, University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292708471
Juanita Jackson Mitchell
Juanita Jackson was part of the NAACP. She was their national youth director. Mitchell worked mostly with the youth, and did absolutely everything she could to try and get them involved in the NAACP and protesting against lynching. She got the youth to campaign for anti-lynching legislation.She also got to send anti-lynching messages through a radio broadcast. In 1937 Juanita Jackson convinced the National Broadcasting Company to broadcast fifteen minutes on the need for anti-lynching laws.
The Anti-Lynching Crusaders was a group of women dedicated to stopping lynching. Before the Anti-Lynching Crusaders was founded all these group of Crusaders were involved church that helped them learn how to lead with gender problems and power.
The organization was under the guidance of the NAACP and was founded in 1922. The Crusaders women organization started with sixteen members that widened to nine hundred members within three months since the organization was founded.
This organization focused specifically on fundraising money to pass the Dyer Bill.
Mary Talbert was the leader of the group, her objective was to unite 700 state workers, specifically women, but of no distinguishing color or race. Talbert was an active fundraiser for the Crusaders and affirmed the organizations desire "to raise at least one million dollars... to help us put over the Dyer Anti Lynching Bill."
They raised over $10,803.38 by the spring of 1923.