Video and edition: Cleon Arrey
Steve Turner, Los Angeles, USA.
Lynchings were violent public acts that white people used to terrorize and control Black people in the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States, particularly in the Southern states. Lynchings typically evoke images of Black men and women hanging from trees, but they involved other extreme brutality, such as torture, mutilation, decapitation, and desecration. Some victims were burned alive.
A typical lynching involved a criminal accusation, an arrest, and the assembly of a mob, followed by seizure, physical torment, and murder of the victim. Lynchings were often public spectacles attended by the white community in celebration of white supremacy. Photos of lynchings were often sold as souvenir postcards.
Black people were the primary victims of lynching but they weren’t the only victims of this barbaric practice. Some white people were lynched for helping Black people or for being anti-lynching. Immigrants from Mexico, China, Australia, and other countries were also lynched.
I remain hanging from the ceiling of the gallery with a noose around my neck. Various individuals take turns to hold me up and avoid my asphyxiation.