Songs Without Words

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Like journalists Jesse Duke and Ida B. Wells, Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell, Jr., had braved mob retaliation for defending an African American man from a rape charge, and challenged the increase in lynching actively. In 1894, for example,…

In its election-eve issue in 1892, perhaps to encourage the exodus that Ida B. Wells’s campaign had begun, the Indianapolis Freeman re-printed a drawing by the late political cartoonist, Henry J. Lewis. A series of frames reminded readers that…

During the winter of 1889–1890, the killing of prisoners by a white mob in Barnwell, South Carolina, and a “race war” in Georgia, prompted the Indianapolis Freeman to unleash a more pointed visual critique of so-called southern…

This drawing in the Indianapolis Freeman shows Uncle Sam standing impotently before a robed figure, Ethiopia, as she gestures toward the shooting of innocent African American men and women, and a burning church. “See how my people are murdered,…

In the late summer of 1889, the Indianapolis Freemanused the figure of Uncle Sam to protest a Gouldsboro, Louisiana, massacre of African American families on an excursion, and the burning of a church, as a symbol of federal protection. In this image,…
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