Eliana Harel

This picture from the National Memorial for Peace and Justice shows the reasons why people were lynched. From talking too loudly to having a white wife, Black people were lynched for little to no reason and some of those reasons are shown on the plaques in this photo.

Lynching Memorial

MONTGOMERY — There was one plaque of a guy who was whipped to death after being interrogated for a crime he did not commit. 

Complaining when a white store owner refused to serve a Black man was a reason on a plaque that a Black man was killed. 

From 1882 to 1968, 4,743 people were lynched, according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  

Black people back then were lynched for loitering, drinking in public, talking too loudly, talking in front of a white woman, not giving way to a white person on the street, or having a white wife or husband.

In Montgomery, Ala., the 11th grade class went to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. It was moving for all of us. At the memorial, the reasons for the people being lynched were on some plaques. 

Some Black people represented in the Lynching Memorial were not guilty of anything and simply taken by a mob and hanged. The reasons for people being lynched were as ridiculous as a Black man talking to a white women. Some of the most unbelievable reasons for being lynched were for complaining. 

Not only were there names of people who were lynched, but there were unknown names of people who didn’t even get their name on the memorial because their name was not known.

Overall, the plaques and forms of representation of those lynched (through statues or by etching people’s names in metal), are a way of properly respecting those who have been unlawfully lynched. 

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