Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Lynching of Young Blacks

with 594 comments

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Lawrence Beitler took this iconic photograph on August 7, 1930. It showed the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, two young black men from the John Robinson show circus accused by a teenager of raping his white girlfriend (This accusation was subsequently found to be a lie).  A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get these men; the girl’s uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man’s innocence. Lynching photos were made into postcards to show off civic pride and white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up angering and revolting as many as they scared. The photo sold thousands of copies, which Beitler stayed up for 10 days and nights printing them.

Ironically, this photo which had become iconic image of lynchings was taken at Marion, Indiana, whereas most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called the sentence of “Judge Lynch.”) The photo was so iconic that it has been the inspiration for many poems, books and songs down the years, “Strange Fruit” by the Jewish poet Abel Meeropol (later sung by Billie Holiday) being the best example. Every time you hear Bob Dylan’s somewhat hard-to-listen-to Desolation Row, the first line you heard is “They’re selling postcards of the hanging”, inspired by the above photo.

The primary source for these events is A Time of Terror, which is an eyewitness account by James Cameron, the third black youth who was saved.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

August 12, 2009 at 5:54 am

594 Responses

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  1. Most posts are stupid and criminal here. In my country, Belgium racisme is a crime. It is, and also stupid and retarded thinking. And all those white racist tell they are christians, waw. I am proud I am an atheïst who has no god but believe in solidarrity among people. I have many African friens-ds, sometimes they are much smarter ten us whites, hehehehehehe.

    Christiaan de Munter

    September 27, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    • I am a black man who loves himself and his people. I was raised not to hate anyone. I work, pay my taxes, and take care of my family like everyone else. As I read through these comments I was not shocked at all on what Haters had to say, its all through our history. But what I’m proud of is the intelligent answers given to oppose the hatred. Big Ah you are a star bro keep teaching. Everyone that spoke up something positive good job.The devil is a lie. For those who want to continue to hate I will pray for you and someday I hope you will change. Well its time for me to go back to work break times over.

      1 life to Live

      December 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  2. “I life to live” I completely echo your sentiments, very well stated. And yes, “Big Ah” way to stand strong and firm (with unequivocal good sense and knowledge) up against these racist and unrelenting devils. This Nordic brood is the offspring of Esau and have always maligned themselves from the human family–taking refuge into the mountains–making claims of superiority and imperialism when in reality the pale skin is the biological and or genetic inferior to melanin/pigmentation. To say that Jesus was/is white is the biggest insult to God and original man (black) and I submit to you that the white man knows this. But he persists in using lies, deception, obfuscation, propaganda, indoctrination, and all sorts of machinations in blinding and misleading the entire inhabited earth in a bid to remain in control. This fiendish blueprint has worked magnificently on the minds of the minion oppressed classes, but slowly and surely the original man (not to be confused with mankind) is awakening and arriving back at his “good sense.” As regarding the image above, well being from the wicked south I can say with complete assuredness that the “hunt” or the weekend lynching excursions never ended…the act morphed into justifiable homicide behind the guise of “great policing.” So, white monsters (police officers) are still attacking the balls of life (melanin testicles) only they are doing it indirectly these days. And sadly, the people are too confused, too ignorant, and too unaware to understand what is unfolding before their eyes. “If you do not understand racism, and white supremacy everything that you do understand will only confuse the hell out of you.” Let’s connect at facebook and have dialogue “I life to live” and “Big Ah.”

    MikeD

    March 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm

  3. “Tired of all of this nonsense,” and all other soldiers for truth, liberation from the devil, and justice I praise your words here along this thread as well. Forgive me for forgetting to mention you in my earlier entry.

    MikeD

    March 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    • Racisme is not only most stupid bur also a crime, here in Belgium by law, but in general.

      Krist de Munter

      April 3, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      • Krist de Munter, Racism is the only way of life in this jungle called America. White men loathe competition and so they work overtime at keeping inequality and racism alive and well. Plain and simply, the people here are ruthlessly evil and always have been. Are you watching the terrorism that’s being waged weekly by the Police State here in America against black males? If not, start watching the actions of the police departments, prosecution offices, grand juries, and courts following the gruesome slayings. You will see Satan and his angels of death in action!

        MikeD

        April 21, 2015 at 1:25 am

      • Yep, we see this images too on tele. In most European countries as in Belgium, police cannot shoot whenever they want. Always there is a investigation by law and the circumstances are examind. But Euroe is the origion of racisme and there is still much and now we let migrants die in the sea.

        Christiaan de Munter

        April 22, 2015 at 1:41 am

      • Yes, I agree Europe is the origin of this cruel and deceptive evil. Its going to take another two hundred years before the people are capable of seeing clearly. That’s just how cunning, deceptive, and ambiguous racism continues to be here in America. A lot of that is due to long term exposures to propaganda and indoctrination, but hey, we are awakening millimeter steps at a time. Thank you, Christiaan de Munter for the perspective.

        MikeD

        April 23, 2015 at 5:39 am

  4. When I was just a brainwashed young white kid I thought this photo was horrible. Now that I understand the real world I think it’s wonderful. LOL I love seeing niggers hanged.

    lynchfan

    April 19, 2015 at 12:03 pm

  5. Hey, how goes it, “lynchfan?” I’ll just bet you are the pride of your community and work force, right? Little fiendish pale faced monkey straight out of the mountains of Seir! I’m not sure if you’ve been made aware, but the collective African American base isn’t sitting around playing dominos and waiting on nefarious Caucasian love. You people are monsters, and genetic inferiors, and you know it! Sadly, its taken the descendants of slavery far too long to arrive at these realities–not me. I keep careful watch over the police and those so-called loving patriots. I wished a redneck would cross me with a nasty countenance written
    on his face.

    MikeD

    April 21, 2015 at 1:17 am

  6. Somebody!!!!!tell feb21,2012 to come back and read this….why do you want to commit suicide/have someone kill you if you think’all niggers should die’..it sounds like to me you need help and assistance in your trouble’s of self awareness.

    lejon leonard

    June 15, 2015 at 3:57 am

  7. Hang some more end our troubles

    okkkie

    June 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

  8. […] Many Black men were lynched publicly in the South for perceived slights against White femininity. Many White women were complicit in this brutalization of Black men and even showed up to public lync…. There was a period of time in this nation’s history where a White woman’s account of a Black […]

  9. Hey, “Okkkie,” you fiendish piece of crap. Listen white trash, your troubles wouldn’t end if black males were to exit this ungodly nation, they’d only just begin. For, who would screw your white women just right–you know how they like it? Only black dick continues to do that jethro. And who’d clean your shit toilets and sweep your floors and carryout all of your menial work around the nation and purchase your mind numbing video games? Your lazy ass sure as hell ain’t going to do any real hard labor, right? Nah, you’d better rethink that jethro and allow this wicked gravy train to continue humming along!

    MikeD

    July 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

  10. That picture them n****** hanging is the best thing I’ve seen since a piece of pussy

    David

    August 1, 2015 at 7:57 pm

  11. Looking at the comments black man why would you want a white women that comes from evil as this any. You might as well agree with this then you really think pale skin us good the bible calls them Satan and speKs about their pale skin as a curse. And you talking to this white man like you got his pale women your sick man

    Dora

    October 2, 2015 at 11:44 am

  12. BLACK JESUS. ISLAM, Muslims.. Fuck the white man.
    Blacks on blonde girls ass hole. Yeah we fuck those bitch harder than any white little cock..
    Big Black monster dick hitting white girls ass so hard.

    Alex capo

    February 4, 2016 at 1:34 am

  13. Fact : NIGGERS STINK. shall i continue…just found out who stole my new phn last week in my building complex….(i am a retired combat US ARMY veteran awarded with the bronze star…)…along with tenants mail…three bikes…and who knows what else. Who the fuk does this ? The one and only GARBOON our manager so kindly screwed us with ! He’s being evicted after only 3 months ! With everyones shit. No good thieving, looting, rioting, smelly, fat-ass, lazy, government cheese suckin, talking monkey race. Any excuse to act like the animals u are, you’ve used it. You fill our prisons, lower property values, throw trash ANYWHERE…too damn much to list…and its always Martin Luthur King this…Fartin Lucifer King that ( king of the Koons ! ) if he could walk down any of the streets in this country named after him and see the pile of shit youve created he would probably LYNCH HIMSELF ! And this slave shit , (i can only dream) more than 1/2 of you think u were one…! No one owes u shit ! FACT: spear chuckin tribes in Afri-crap were attacking other tribes and selling their captives to conquistidores and other slaving peoples at the time. Oh… Your uneducated black asses forgot that shit..right ? U killed n sold your own ! ……still do. You gave that Curious George lookin fuck a seat TWICE…TWICE in the crackhouse…i mean White House. And that penis lovin monkey (yes i believe michelle obama does have a cock) did more damage to our country than all 44 previous presidents did put together ! …wtf? Ive killed better than your kind overseas…and they are pure shit and deserving of it. Puts u way down the list . I wouldnt shoot any of u ! Really ! Not worth a $.37 cent bullet. !! But i would really, really enjoy hanging any of u (man, woman, child, even your pig foot eating pick-a-ninny grandma) by
    the ankles n skinning you inch by inch. Transfusion to keep u alive…cut that fukin forked tongue out n feed it to your kids…burn u alive and throw you from a cliff like Niro ! Thats what i would LIKE to do ! I was raised without prejudice. I am a product of YOU..your actions, words, disreguard for ANYONE! ,..etc….i am the result. Hate is what i have for your species. I honestly dont think your race has full evolved yet. A single word really fits your species….ok chimps -*pop quiz*~ ?what goes somewhere, uses and trashes ALL !…EVERYTHING !! Destroys all it can b4 going to another place n doing the same thing..WHICH IS WHAT THE POPULACE OF YOUR KIND DOES…….ANY CLUES ? (Oops…sorry no clues. SOME NIGGER STOLE EM’.) A VIRUS !!!!!! A FUKIN VIRUS !!!!!!! think real hard on that everyone…pretty damn similar. God damn virus. THE LABLE fits perfectly

    Chris Ihfn

    May 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm

  14. THERE IS A GOD AND HE WILL MAKE IT RIGHT FOR ALL COLORS….
    IM A TRUE SOUTHERNER BUT I WOULD NEVER COULD NEVER HURT
    ANOTHER HUMAN BEING BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK..
    MEN THAT RAPE AND HURT OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT MEN TO ME
    THEY ARE WEAK AND THE BLOOD OF EVIL….
    THE OLD SAYING WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
    AND IT WILL COME KNOCKING ONE DAY….
    GOD CAN SEE ALL HEAR ALL FOR HE MADE EACH OF US!
    A MANLY MAN IS OF GOD…
    IM SO VERY SORRY TO ALL BLACK SOULS AND TO ALL JEWS AND TO ALL INDIANS…
    JESUS IS COMING BACK AGAIN, MAKE SURE YOUR SOULS ARE READY…
    1 THESS. 4:16-18

    victoria boyd

    May 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

  15. Your always sick can’t splits duck in half cause you love are pure aass negron pride race boy have you son bunches ran a wild race

    sharon fielder

    July 28, 2016 at 1:12 am

  16. Boy have you sonbitches came long way love ate negron niggardly assessment. Weve came long way you guys still chasing us smelling are shit how can we win…. Wow just think we never wanted mixed race not us it’s you that subside to smear mf noses in our business. Bitches. Please get white life


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