Lynching : Violence, Rhetoric, and American Identity

Lynching : Violence, Rhetoric, and American Identity


While victims of antebellum lynchings were typically white men, postbellum lynchings became more frequent and more intense, with the victims more often black. After Reconstruction, lynchings exhibited and embodied links between violent collective action, American civic identity, and the making of the nation.

Ersula J. Ore investigates lynching as a racialized practice of civic engagement, in effect an argument against black inclusion within the changing nation. Ore scrutinizes the civic roots of lynching, the relationship between lynching and white constitutionalism, and contemporary manifestations of lynching discourse and logic today. From the 1880s onward, lynchings, she finds, manifested a violent form of symbolic action that called a national public into existence, denoted citizenship, and upheld political community.

Grounded in Ida B. Wells's summation of lynching as a social contract among whites to maintain a racial order, at its core, Ore's book speaks to racialized violence as a mode of civic engagement. Since violence enacts an argument about citizenship, Ore construes lynching and its expressions as part and parcel of America's rhetorical tradition and political legacy.

Drawing upon newspapers, official records, and memoirs, as well as critical race theory, Ore outlines the connections between what was said and written, the material practices of lynching in the past, and the forms these rhetorics and practices assume now. In doing so, she demonstrates how lynching functioned as a strategy interwoven with the formation of America's national identity and with the nation's need to continually restrict and redefine that identity. In addition, Ore ties black resistance to lynching, the acclaimed exhibit Without Sanctuary, recent police brutality, effigies of Barack Obama, and the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0814108784
ISBN 13: 9780814108789

01 May 2021
Aja Y. Martinez

ISBN 10: 0802143008
ISBN 13: 9780802143006

15 Apr 2019
Frantz Fanon

ISBN 10: 0809335549
ISBN 13: 9780809335541

30 Mar 2017
Eric Darnell Pritchard

ISBN 10: 1571313567
ISBN 13: 9781571313560

24 Sep 2015
Robin Wall Kimmerer

ISBN 10: 1138551023
ISBN 13: 9781138551022

14 May 2020
April Baker-Bell

ISBN 10: 1565842715
ISBN 13: 9781565842717

16 May 1996
Kimberle Crenshaw

ISBN 10: 0814255728
ISBN 13: 9780814255728

14 Feb 2020
Megan Eatman

ISBN 10: 0804746206
ISBN 13: 9780804746205

23 Sep 2005
Jacques Derrida

ISBN 10: 1138090441
ISBN 13: 9781138090446

22 Apr 2018
Keith Gilyard

ISBN 10: 0814255795
ISBN 13: 9780814255797

21 Apr 2020
Rice, Jenny

ISBN 10: 0809337142
ISBN 13: 9780809337149

01 Feb 2019
Jessica Restaino

ISBN 10: 0252079582
ISBN 13: 9780252079580

15 Nov 2013
Karma R. Chavez