What Qualified as a Lynching?

The Jefferson County Memorial Project focused on incidents that occurred between 1883 and 1940.

Killings were defined as lynchings if they were an act of racial terrorism by white mobs of three or more people, whether they were killed by hanging, burning, mutilating, shooting or other forms of assault. There were more incidents not included in the report of African Americans being terrorized and killed by one or two whites, but not in connection with a mob.

EJI has defined acts of racial terrorism as “extrajudicial acts of racial terrorism, motivated by the narrative of racial difference, that involved killing African Americans by hanging, burning, mutilation, or other brutal assault at the hands of white mobs of at least three or more people, for the purposes of not only terrorizing the victim, but the entire African American community, with near complete impunity and no fear of legal recourse.”