April 2nd, 2009
The picture above described the lynching of Seay J. Miller in Kentucky. Ida B. Wells did the article and possibly the picture for the Richmond Planet on August 26, 1893.
During this time John Mitchell Jr. was in charge of the Richmond Plant and was utterly against lynching. He had even received threats of being lynched himself, but he remained loyal to his cause and continued to fight for anti-lynching laws. John Mitchell Jr. was an African-American newspaper editor, who was unafraid of condemning the actions of the KKK and other racist groups in the South.
Ida B Wells was an African- American journalist who supported the idea of equal rights for African-Americans. As a journalist she would often use the newspapers to publicize her ideas. In 1892 three friends of hers from Memphis were lynched by a white mob. After witnessing the lynching she became a fierce advocate for anti-lynching laws.
During reconstruction up until the 1960s the Ku Klux Klan and other white mobs often used lynching against African Americans. Lynching was a way of intimidating and controlling the African-American populations through fear. Many civil rights activists pushed for anti-lynching laws to be passed by the Federal government. While today lynching is illegal, Congress never passed a formal law. In June 2005 Congress signed a joint resolution apologizing for the failure of Congress to pass anti-lynching laws.
The picture can be found today at the Library of Virginia website. The collection was created in order to show how the African-American community responded to the horrors that they faced after the Civil War. It also shows the contributions John Mitchell Jr. and the Richmond Planet made during this time of intense racism.