African Americans and the Anti-lynching Movement
African-American activists also worked to end to lynching violence. Lynching was used as a way to control and repress African-Americans: murdering African American by extrajudicial mob actions and creating an environment of violence, intimidation, and terror. Like the pursuit of education, the roots of the anti-lynching movement were in the freedom activities started before the Civil War.
Many groups throughout the South worked to put an end to lynching; the height of these efforts was from 1890s - 1930s. One such group, the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC), was founded in the aftermath of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot to foster better bi-racial relations. African-American women were leaders in the anti-lynching movement. In Atlanta, the Neighborhood Union, an African American women’s social services organization included among its members women from Atlanta’s black middle class, such as Lugenia Burns Hope. They partnered with the CIC to encourage legislation that would end lynchings.
W.E.B. Du Bois was also an outspoken critic of communities that allowed lynchings to take place and of the national government that would not protect all of its citizens. Du Bois authored many pieces for anti-lynching groups and used the NAACP journal, Crisis, as a platform to expose the truths about lynchings. He unflinchingly published photographs of lynched corpses as a way to force Americans to face a homegrown horror.