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10 American States With the Most Lynchings of Black People From 1882–1968

History of lynching in America


A total of 347 recorded lynchings took place in Alabama during this time, with 299 of the victims being Black and fewer than 50 being white. Multiple Alabama counties had some of the highest rates of lynchings in the U.S., according to information compiled by the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). Jefferson County ranked as the ninth-highest rate of lynchings for counties in the South, with nearly 30 recorded lynchings over the course of about 70 years. Dallas County was ranked at No. 10 with 25 lynchings in the same time span. “This was not ‘frontier justice’ carried out by a few marginalized vigilantes or extremists,” the EJI report notes. “Instead, many African Americans who were never accused of any crime were tortured and murdered in front of picnicking spectators (including elected officials and prominent citizens) for bumping into a white person, or wearing their military uniforms after World War I, or not using the appropriate title when addressing a white person.”


Black people lynched


A total of 284 lynchings were recorded in Arkansas. While fewer than 60 were white victims, 226 were Black people. It is possible, however, that the Tuskegee Institute numbers don’t include all the reported lynchings from what some have deemed “America’s Forgotten Mass Lynching.” According to a report from the Equal Justice Initiative, 237 Black lives were taken during a massive attack on Black sharecroppers and laborers. When Black sharecroppers came together in an attempt to become unionized, white landowners and the elite saw this as a serious threat to their own financial growth and prosperity. Since roughly 75 percent of the population was Black, fear quickly began sweeping through the white elite communities. “The posse believed that a black conspiracy to murder white planters had just been begun and that they must do whatever it took to put down the alleged uprising,” an article from The Daily Beast about the EJI report explained. “The result was the killing of 237 African Americans.” The report also indicates that none of the white murderers was ever charged, tried or remotely held accountable for this mass killing.

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