State Sanctioned

A clearinghouse for information, analysis, and resources related to state sanctioned violence in the United States

Teaching About Lynching

Anti-Lynching Campaigns,1890 – 1942 – lesson plans from the Alexander Street Press

Anti-Lynching Dramas – from the National Humanities Center, includes background info and discussion questions

“Domestic Terror”: Understanding Lynching During the Era of Jim Crow – created by PBS; part 7 in a series of lessons exploring the rise and fall of Jim Crow

Duluth Lynchings Online Resource – from Minnesota Historical Society, includes secondary and primary sources about the Duluth lynching of 1920, organized thematically. Reviewed positively by Teaching History.

Explorations: Lynching – created for Digital History, includes numerous primary source documents from the 1890s – 1930s organized chronologically and thematically.

Faces in the Crowd: Lynching in the American South – created for the Chicago Humanities Festival, this excerpt offers ideas and documents for teachers. You can get a full copy of the study guide for free (information on last page). PDF: LynchingintheAmericanSouthStudyGuide

Facing the Past: Lynching and American Civic Memory – written by Karen Murphy of Facing History and Ourselves. Does not provide a step-by-step lesson plan, but includes questions for educators, teaching resources, and information about the Equal Justice Initiative’s recently-released report

Historical Insights: Teaching North American history using Images and Material Culture, ed. by Catherine Armstrong, October 2013. (opens as a PDF)

The History of Anti-Mexican Violence and Lynching, NPR/Latino USA, (includes audio)

Jazz is About Freedom – lesson plan centered on Billie Holiday’s song, Strange Fruit.  Created by PBS, for a K – 12 audience.

love peace lifeJim Crow and the Great Migration – educational unit from the Gilda Lehrman Institute of American History. Includes specific lesson plan on lynching, as well as suggested exercises, primary sources, secondary literature, and other teaching resources. Some content available only by subscription.

The Literature of Lynching – from the Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10th, 2015. Reflects on incorporating the literature of lynching to courses on American and African American literature.

Lynching & Segregation – from the National Humanities Center, includes background and discussion questions

The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States, 1880 – 1950 – created by Robert Gibson for the Yale-New Haven Teacher’s Institute

Powerpoint and Privileging the Visual in Teaching American History – presentation by Bruce Fehn on approaches to the use of lynching photographs in powerpoint slideshows; creating a visual historical narrative of American racial violence. Appears in the Journal of the Association for History and Computing

Race and Mob Violence: The Matthew Williams Case – created for Teaching American History in Maryland; includes primary sources, national history standards, and other instructional resources

Racial Violence in America: Lynchings, 1877 – 1920 – lesson plan from The History Teaching Institute at Ohio State University

Strange Fruit: Lynching in America – lesson plan from the Alabama History Education Initiative, aimed at high school students

Teaching the History of Lynching through Photography – article by Bridget Cook in NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art

Teaching in an Age of State Sanctioned Lynching – blog post by Travis Bristol, Boston Teacher Residency, February 26th, 2014

Teaching Lynching Through the Visual Image – by Catherine Armstrong, History Career Blogs

Terrorism and the American Experience – lesson plan from Beverly Gage, in the Journal of American History. Day 1 discusses terrorism generally; day 2 uses lynching as an example of “terrorism on American soil.” Gage also includes primary sources for use with the suggested exercises.

Using ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to Teach About Lynching, Laura Tavares from Facing History and Ourselves

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