Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America
Edited by James Allen, John Lewis (Foreword), Leon F. Litwack and Hilton Als (Contributors)
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2000
List Price: $75.00
Format: Hardcover, 212 pages
Imprint: Twin Palms Publishers
Publisher: Twin Palms Publishers
Parent Company: Twin Palms Publishers
“Many people today, despite the evidence, will not believe don’t want to believe that such atrocities happened in America not so very long ago. These photographs bear witness to … an American holocaust.” —Congressman John Lewis
The Tuskegee Institute records the lynching of 3,436 blacks between 1882 and 1950. This is probably a small percentage of these murders, which were seldom reported, and led to the creation of the NAACP in 1909, an organization dedicated to passing federal anti-lynching laws.
Through all this terror and carnage someone-many times a professional photographer carried a camera and took pictures of the events. These lynching photographs were often made into postcards and sold as souvenirs to the crowds in attendance.
These images are some of photography’s most brutal, surviving to this day so that we may now look back on the terrorism unleashed on America’s African-American community and perhaps know our history and ourselves better.
The almost one hundred images reproduced here are a testament to the camera’s ability to make us remember what we often choose to forget.