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Southern Women in the Anti-Lynching Campaign

Document 8

      It is not the part of wisdom to accept the decreasing number of lynchings as indicative of any degree of permanency . . . with the coming of peace [the end of World War II] these same people, perhaps more of them, will come back to a jobless, poverty-stricken existence. Unless there is productive work waiting to absorb their energies and to give them hope, the passions and hatreds which have characterized their lives in the past will again be aroused . . . Minority peoples who are physically marked as distinct from the majority may well become the target for the expression of frustration of an unemployed and angry majority. . . .

      The white South still believes in the inherent right of the white race to rule supreme over Negroes . . . that certain jobs are the exclusive prerogative of white people . . . [that] equal protection and adminstration of the law for all, and the free exercise of the ballot imperil white supremacy. . . .

      If the South is saved from a post-war era of violence, bloodshed, lynching, and torture, it will be because sane white Southerners begin now to work for, as well as talk for, the principles of Democracy.

-- Excerpt from Jessie Daniel Ames,
The Changing Character of Lynching, 1942

16. Why did Jessie Daniel Ames believe that despite decreases in the number of lynchings, the threat was not over?

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17. What did Ames think must happen to end lynching permanently?

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To Part B

 

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