The tone of A Red Record is unmistakable and in chapter 1 the reader is instantly introduced to "the year 1894" and the "awakening of the public conscience" so there can be no misunderstanding as to Ms Wells-Barnett's intentions. The tone then is accusatory as "the inevitable result of unbribled power.... by the white man over the Negro" causes "conscienceless outlawry" but, whilst expected, it is certainly not excused, as Wells points out regularly. "We have associated too long with the white man not to have copied his vices as well as his virtues.." (ch 10) reveals, however, that there can be no denying that the responsibility lies with both sides.
It also expresses disbelief as the events that take place and the injustices that are perpetuated are almost unbelievable. The callousness of the "lynch mobs" is revealed in the tone. There is a slight change in tone in chapter 7 as "Lynch Law cannot flourish in the future as it has in the past" but the "hopes for the new South we have so fondly cherished" are far from being realized. There is a defiance evident in the tone of the book and the reader is encouraged to realize the great sacrifice that must be made to ensure "true freedom" and "to make others free!"