Songs Without Words

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Following the lynching of "Click" Mitchell in spring of 1897, African American editors criticized both President William McKinley’s silence, and Booker T. Washington’s suggestion that lynch victims were “invariably…

On the eve of local elections in 1895, the Indianapolis Freeman printed a previously-published drawing by the late political cartoonist Henry J. Lewis, entited "A Song Without Words." The drawing used inserts within the larger frame to tell the story…

In spring of 1897 African American editors were outraged when President William McKinley ignored the lynching of an Ohio man, “Click” Mitchell. In somewhat sensational style, the Indianapolis Freeman depicted the mob scene, with insets…

More conciliatory than his other drawings, this illustration by Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell, Jr., applauded liberal whites for their efforts to thwart lynching and enforce law and order, and thereby contribute to southern economic progress.…

This drawing by Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell, Jr., drew attention to Ida B. Wells’s success in bringing British attention to American inaction in the face of southern lynching. The drawing shows the cannon of British public opinion…

John Mitchell, Jr. created this drawing to contrast two states’ commitments to “law and order.” An Ohio judge refused to release a black man accused of murder to Kentucky, for fear that the man would be lynched in transit. In the…

In early 1895, Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell, Jr., published a series of his own drawings, beginning with this illustration “Prays for His Persecutors.” The image depicts an African American man kneeling in prayer against a…

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…
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