Document 8: "Plan Organization of 1,000,000 Women to Stop Lynching in United States," [1922], NAACP Papers, Part 7: The Anti-Lynching Campaign, 1912-1955, Series B: Anti-Lynching Legislative and Publicity Files, 1916-1955, Library of Congress (Microfilm, Reel 3, Frame 559).

Introduction

        In the following document, the Anti-Lynching Crusaders described how their organization would be structured, where it would be located, and how it would recruit members. The organizers of the Crusaders hoped to tap into existing women's clubs to staff their movement and as Document 9 indicates, recruiters were to approach Sunday schools and girls clubs to enlist the aid of girls between the ages of 8 and 18. The goal of ending lynching, the authors argued, was eminently suited to women whose task it was to ensure the "home is sacred from violence." They asserted that lynching did not protect women from rape as this was a factor in only 16.6 percent of lynching incidents (see Document 7); instead, lynching had the undesirable effect of introducing violence into the home. As this document describes, the founders of the Crusaders envisioned the organization as a "mass movement of American women" who would ultimately protect the "fair name" of their nation.

PLAN ORGANIZATION OF 1,000,000 WOMEN TO
STOP LYNCHING IN UNITED STATES.

ZONA GALE, NOVELIST, ACTIVE IN WISCONSIN

GUARANTY TRUST CO., ACCEPTS OFFICE OF DEPOSITORY

        One million women throughout the United States are to be enrolled in an organization called "The Anti-Lynching Crusaders", according to plans made public today by Mrs. Grace Johnson, New York representative of the movement. Headquarters have been established at 521 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, New York, under the directorship of Mrs. Mary B. Talbert, winner of the Spingarn Medal for 1921, the first woman to achieve that distinction. The Guaranty Trust Co., of New York, has accepted the office of depository for the Anti-Lynching Crusaders.

        The aims of the organization as set forth in an initial statement are:

        "The Anti-Lynching Crusaders are a band of women organized to stop lynching. Their slogan is: 'A Million Women United To Stop Lynching.' They are trying to raise at least one dollar from every woman united with them and to finish this work on or before January 1st, 1923. The reason that they believe this work to be of pressing importance is because of the facts as to lynching which confront every American."

        Mrs. Johnson made public the following state by state list of 83 women lynched in the United States from 1889 to 1921:

  State Colored White Total
1. Mississippi 14 1 15
2. Texas   8 2 10
3. Alabama   9 -   9
4. Georgia   8 -   8
5. Arkansas   6 1   7
6. South Carolina   6 -   6
7. Louisiana   4 1   5
8. Tennessee   3 2   5
9. Kentucky   2 2   4
10. Oklahoma   2 2   4
11. Florida   3 -   3
12. Missouri   1 1   2
13. North Carolina   - 1   1
14. Virginia   - 1   1
15. Nebraska   - 1   1
16. W. Virginia   - 1   1
17. Wyoming   - 1   1 
        83

        "Every woman's club in the country," said Mrs. Johnson, "and every organization of women in the country will have its attention called to the facts and its members will be asked to enroll. Already we have State directors for 39 states and the District of Columbia, and hope to have organization work going on in every state, shortly.

        "Zona Gale, the novelist, has volunteered her services in the State of Wisconsin. Mrs. Florence Kelley, of the National Consumers' League, is an active and interested supporter of this movement.

        "In organizing this mass movement of American women," Mrs. Johnson continued, "we are only following the lead taken by white women in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, protesting against the alleged protection of women by lynching mobs.

        "The facts as to lynching are now becoming tolerably well known throughout the country. It does not occur to protect women for less than 17 per cent. of the 3436 persons lynched in the United States 1889-1921 were even accused of the crime of rape.

        "American women are realizing that until this crime is ended, no home is sacred from violence, no part of the country from race clashes, and the fair name of our country is soiled throughout the civilized world.

        "So we urge every woman who is determined to do her share toward ending American lynching, to communicate with the Anti-Lynching Crusaders, 521 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, New York."

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