Lynching is a form of murder, often committed by a mob of people taking the law into their own hands, and often in the form of a public hanging. Lynching was a common practice during the pre-Civil Rights era in the U.S., and some estimate that thousands of African Americans were lynched by white mobs during the first half of the 20th century. Over time, lynching transformed from a public punishment for a crime into a form of social and political control that whites used against African Americans. During the Civil Rights era, desegregationists and other protesters for racial equality were often targets of lynchings.
Lynching Term Timeline in Letter from Birmingham Jail
The timeline below shows where the term Lynching appears in Letter from Birmingham Jail. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
...injustice African Americans have experienced, King offers a list of injustices. He presents examples of lynchings and extreme police brutality, the “air-tight cage of poverty,” and the emotional pain of explaining... (full context)