Songs Without Words

Browse Items (37 total)

In spring 1894, the Cleveland Gazette published this rare lynching image to protest the murder of Roscoe Parker, in West Union, Ohio. The paper included a simple pen-and-ink drawing of Parker’s lynched body—with the white mob sketched in…

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,…

After the brutal lynching of a mentally disabled man, Henry Smith, this image in Detroit Plaindealer portrayed the failure of outgoing President Benjamin Harrison administration’s to condemn the lynching as a direct contrast to Abraham…

The gruesome lynching of a mentally disabled man, Henry Smith in Paris, Texas, in February 1893, sparked renewed visual critique in the African American press regarding federal inaction on lynching. The mob’s torture of Henry Smith seemed to…

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…

When six white men gang-raped an African American woman in Columbus, Ohio, the Cleveland Gazette published their profiles on its front page, providing something rarely seen in mainstream newspaper accounts of interracial rape in the 1890s—the…

In June 1892, the Indianapolis Freeman re-printed an earlier visual compilation of civil rights themes drawn by the late political cartoonist Henry J. Lewis. The small cartoon laments the need for combative imagery in the black press, but explains…

In this image, widely reproduced in the African American press, popular white political cartoonist Thomas Nast captured the outrage that followed the lynching of three African American men in Memphis, Tennessee a few months earlier--the incident that…

When Frederick Douglass warned whites of the dangers of “reaping the whirlwind,” the Indianapolis Freeman recycled an oft-used drawing by the late political cartoonist, Henry J. Lewis, showing a sleeping African American Gulliver, a…

In this image, the Indianapolis Freeman depicts Uncle Sam as a gravedigger, tending the failed legislation of generations. A headstone for the recently-defeated “Blair Education Bill,” which would have supplied federal funding for local…
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