The Lynching Trail

Racial violence in America is a well-told story. But the importance of land as a motive for lynchings has gone largely overlooked. Historians say prosperous blacks – and black landowners – often became targets of white lynch mobs, whose attacks could trigger an exodus of blacks. More than 3,000 blacks were lynched between 1865 and 1965, according to the Tuskegee Institute and the NAACP.

“If you are looking for stolen black land, just follow the lynching trail.” says Ray Winbush, director of Risk University’s Race Relations Institute.


Return to Series: Torn from the LandMore Stories: The Authentic Voice

For More Information

Torn from the Land is characterized by strong research, attention to detail, sound historical context, and compelling quotes. Central to the series’ power is the meticulous investigative reporting of AP reporters Dolores Barclay and Todd Lewan and the decision of editor Bruce DeSilva to allow into the stories only cases that could be proven beyond doubt. The story creates a fresh awareness about the history of African Americans and their descendants.

Teacher’s Guide: Torn from the Land

AP Graphic: The Lynching Trail

AP Graphic: A Family Divided

DVD Discussion Questions: Torn from the Land