How bad was the South of America between 1910 and 1930?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The nature of the question is a broad one, and I think that different people can take different approaches to it.  For my bet, I think that the Southern part of America was a fairly bad one for many African- Americans.  The fact that lynchings and other forms of social intimidation were such an intrinsic part of life in the South would make it a particular bad section of the nation.  Racism and discrimination was rampant all over America during the time period of before and after the First World War.  However, the lynching was something that seemed to make the South fundamentally worse than other parts of the nation.  Towards the end of this time period, anti- lynching legislation had been introduced and debated, but nothing had been so absolutely concrete that lynchings stopped or abated during this time period.  The deliberate targeting of African- Americans as victims of lynchings made the South horrific for people of color.  Not all victims of lynchings were African- Americans.  However, I think that a viable case can be made that many, an overwhelming number, of African- Americans were targeted for lynchings in the South.  Southern governments, in particular law enforcement officers, were complicit in the lynchings, making the region fundamentally worse for people of color.  It is here where I think that the Southern part of America was really bad for people of color between 1910 and 1930.


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