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Title page for ETD etd-07262010-142217

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Russell, Carrie Archie
Author's Email Address carrie.russell@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07262010-142217
Title Reckoning with a Violent and Lawless Past: A Study of Race, Violence and Reconciliation in Tennessee
Degree PhD
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carol M. Swain Committee Chair
Christian Grose Committee Member
Richard Blackett Committee Member
W. James Booth Committee Member
  • lynching
  • pogroms
  • politics
  • violence
  • race
  • tennessee
  • reconciliation
Date of Defense 2010-07-16
Availability unrestricted
This project examines acts of violence and injustice directed toward Black Tennesseans in the forms of slavery, Jim Crow legislation, lynching, pogroms and race riots between 1865 and 1946. After systemic research of newspaper and county court archives for this period of time, I have been unable to find any evidence of conviction of lynch mob members who participated in four urban race riots, 11 rural pogroms, and 213 lynchings of Black Tennesseans. To the contrary, most of these crimes were deemed to have occurred “at the hands of parties unknown.” I believe that the lack of justice provided Black Tennesseans, particularly after the Civil War, and the inability of government institutions to address it in a comprehensive manner is a burden borne by all Tennesseans today and a topic that deserves redress. I argue that in addition to political apologies, this redress should take the form of reconciliation commissions convened in communities where violence occurred.
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