Lynching: America’s Missing Narrative

Yasmin Forbes, African American Studies, West Mecklenburg HS

Curriculum Units (pdf)


This curriculum unit is designed to uncover one of the numerous narratives that is missing from the collective American memory. The history of lynching overall remains a memory that America does not want to acknowledge as a piece of its past and part of its identity. Due to the failure of America to acknowledge the terrorism of lynching as a form of social control against the black community after the abolishment of slavery, its effects can still be felt today through other forms of racial injustice. Black individuals have experienced police violence over time, which spiked during the Civil Rights Movement to counteract and prevent racial equality. Modern incidents regarding police violence are displayed through the disproportionate amount of black victims of police involved shootings. This mirrors the racial terrorism of lynching that ensued after the Reconstruction era to redeem white supremacy in the South. Throughout the unit students will explore the history and purpose of lynching, research lynching victims and individuals who fought against lynching, in addition to how lynching has been memorialized thus far. In the latter half of the curriculum unit students will analyze the correlation of lynching to police brutality, research victims of police involved shootings and individuals who currently fight against police brutality, as well as how these victims have been memorialized thus far.