What role has lynching play in American culture? Find out more on this pledge drive edition of A Public Affair!
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On Wednesday February 26th, our host Karma Chavez was joined by Koritha Mitchell to discuss her latest book, “Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930” and how black communities coped with racial violence.
Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890–1930 demonstrates that popular lynching plays were mechanisms through which African American communities survived actual and photographic mob violence. Often available in periodicals, lynching plays were read aloud or acted out by black church members, schoolchildren, and families. Koritha Mitchell shows that African Americans performed and read the scripts in community settings to certify to each other that lynching victims were not the isolated brutes that dominant discourses made them out to be. Instead, the play scripts often described victims as honorable heads of households being torn from model domestic units by white violence.- University of Illinois Press