Browse Biographies




Our team compiles biographies and accounts of lynchings by utilizing primary source databases and published secondary sources on racial violence. Please check with your local public library or university library for access to these databases. Click on the title to be directed to the website.


African American Newspapers, 1827 to 1998: America’s Historical Newspapers, developed by Readex

Ancestry Library Edition, which provides census data and records, as well as links to gravesites and death certificates. Accessed through subscriptions and local and university libraries

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, developed by the Library of Congress, by Ancestry

Tuskegee Institute News Clipping File. A microfilm collection, usually purchased by large university libraries. Approximately 250 reels. Check with your local university.


Foundational book for this project: George Wright, Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865 – 1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and “Legal Lynchings” (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990). Based on deep research of African American newspapers and archives, Wright’s book documents nearly 360 victims of extralegal violence in Kentucky. It also chronicles an additional 150 people “lawfully lynched,” as in victims who were accused and tried in one day before being executed.

Additional titles

Amy Kate Bailey and Stewart E. Tolnay, Lynched: The Victims of Southern Mob Violence 

Philip Dray, At The Hand of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America 

Equal Justice Initiative, Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror 

Crystal N. Feimster, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Thirty Years of Lynching, 1889-1918

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900

Kidada Williams, They Left Great Marks On Me: African American Testimonies of Racial Violence from Emancipation to World War I

Visual Media

Cornell University, “Lynching: Selected Resources: Films”

Always in Season (dir. Jaqueline Olive, 2020)

Lynching Postcards: Token of a Great Day (dir. Christine Turner, 2021)
An Outrage: A Documentary Film About Lynching in the American South (dirs. Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, 2017)

Without Sanctuary: Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America (Curated by James Allen and John Littlefied, 2000)