The Black Political Review

The Struggle

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Ralph and Juanita Abernathy (3rd and 4th from left) march from Selma, Ala., to the state capital in Montgomery with Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.

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Alabama, 1963.In Birmingham, anti-segregation demonstrators lie on the sidewalk to protect themselves from firemen with high PRESSURE water hoses. One disgusted fireman said later, “We’re supposed to fight fires, not people” 

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Lynching 1930  – A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl’s uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man’s innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind., 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.”) Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from barbarity as we’d like to think

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