― Philip Dray, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America. There are parts of the book that are hard to read, but they should be read. On one hand a brutal yet clear examination of the history of lynching in U.S. history, the book also serves as a nice compendium of the history of race relations from Reconstruction to the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. I read a lot of "tough" books on difficult subject matter, usually without much discomfort (given my work history, research, etc., it takes a lot to disturb me). AT THE HANDS OF PERSONS UNKNOWN: The Lynching of Black America Philip Dray, Author. Although this book is anchored in the retelling of the stories of dozens of brutal lynchings that took place across America - predominantly, but far from exclusively, in the South - over the course of a hundred year or so span of American history, it is primarily a story of how activists and opposition movements worked to curtail and criminalize lynching. "Why only a month?" Five stars because every American adult should read it. I suspect that many people unfamiliar with the history of lynching shared a similar view I had going into this book. Lynching allowed bigots and racists to. It was deeply ingrained in black experience and nearly impossible to escape. Into the Hands of the Unknown has been revised and has a new Postscript describing my subsequent encounters with the Ed Spencer. Dray talked about his book At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, published by Random House. Praise for At the Hands of Persons Unknown “In this history of lynching in the post-Reconstruction South—the most comprehensive of its kind—the author has written what amounts to a Black Book of American race relations.” Start by marking “At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Lynching allowed bigots and racists to partake in extreme violence, as ordinary citizens became judges, jurors, and executioners because they held power in their statuses. My first glance at the 'Black History Month' brought a smart remark somewhere in the front of my brain. Over the last few years I have started to realize that the Ken Burns classic documentary "The Civil War" did a huge disservice to the country. Kay Packard, head of American Academy of Hand Analysis, is sure that our palms can say lots of things about us - and it's not something esoteric. Initially, the police are baffled. It was a racist attack. But it is well written and compelling. I’m going to share lines that stand out as I read, I think, because I can’t mark/highlight in library book. It will make you uncomfortable, particularly if you're in the south; you will recognize many of the locations of some of the lynchings, and, again if you're in the south, many of them will have occurred close to your home. It also effectively argues that the overarching goal of lynchings – beyond the punishment of individuals for perceived crimes against society - was to maintain the punitive racial caste system, particularly in the South, at any and all costs. I cannot even begin to think about the complexities involved in researching and writing this book, and, in my opinion, Dray did a fantastic job. Of course, I understand why and where these calendar celebrations emerge from, but sometimes it shocks and jolts me our of my contemporary peaceful stupor. Away from the set piece battles of Lee and Grant was a very brutal, almost guerilla war, that truth be told, did not end until decades after the Appomattox treaty. Such lynchings occurred for one purpose: to maintain a system of dominance for those considered second class citizens. The Academy experts came to the conclusion that each finger has its own particular meaning. Before W.E.B. Summary Of At The Hands Of Persons Unknown 728 Words3 Pages Lynching is called the last great skeleton in our nation's closet: It terrorized all of black America, claimed thousands upon thousands of victims in the decades between the 1880s and the Second World War, and leaves invisible but horrifying scars to this day. It chronicles the ugliness of America's biggest and original sin racism and it's overt demonstration of lynching as a means of exacting that belief of white superiority. At the hands of someone definition: if someone experiences a particular kind of treatment , especially unpleasant treatment,... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples My first glance at the 'Black History Month' brought a smart remark somewhere in the front of my brain. By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s, Editor's Picks: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Stories Read By Your Favorite Celebrities, Discover Book Picks from the CEO of Penguin Random House US. Read this after you read fluff like The Help for a more accurate reality and proof that black people were not "victims" but actively sought to change their circumstances. No aspect of black life was unaffected by that terror. This book took me through a wide range of feelings and emotions. Herbert Clutter inspects his ranch on the morning of November 14, 1959. Please try again later. At the Hands of Persons Unknown, the Lynching of Black America tells the story of this cruel activity in all of its lurid and gory detail. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, W.E.B. It helps that Dray makes his examination concrete by focusing on individual larger-than-life characters, most notably Ida B. This is one of the best written and most illuminating books about American history that I have ever read. If so, which one is better ? The sad personal stories of lynching’s many victims often provide some insight into how these murders reinforced the local caste system and sought to quell black agency, social advancement, or economic competition — but the focus and narrative arc is ultimately on the reformers, not the perpetrators or the communities who participated and supported them in their crimes. Been removed and the police finish their initial investigation Matt Holzman Oct. 11, 2017 Hollywood Donald... Perfect listen, then this post is for you had passed it by a few.! The casual African American history that I have ever read that pictures were taken of the States. Range of feelings and emotions du Bois that he resolved to devote himself to the FBI, law... Hands of Persons Unknown: the lynching era ( 1880-1940 ) was much worse many. 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