Trudier Harris (essay date 1984)
SOURCE: Harris, Trudier. “Literary Lynchings and Burnings.” In Exorcising Blackness: Historical and Literary Lynching and Burning Rituals, pp. 69-94. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.
[In the following excerpt, Harris provides an overview of works addressing the theme of lynching and argues that raising the topic was, for many writers, a consciously political act.]
William Wells Brown depicts a scene in Clotel in which a group of slavers pursues, captures, and later burns a slave to death for being “impudent” to his master. Four thousand slaves are brought in from neighboring plantations to witness the spectacle and to assimilate thoroughly...
(The entire section is 4793 words.)