“The Legacy Museum does its commemorative work in the opposite way, through an accumulation of detailed data, a near-overwhelming amount it, placing lynching within a broader context of white-on-black terrorism that goes back to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in which Montgomery played a role, and forward to the warehousing of black men in prisons today.
The act of lynching was, by calculation, intensely visual. Its central, recurring image of controlling white bodies surrounding a tortured black one projected a message meant to grind a black population down with fear. As with all terrorism, unpredictability and arbitrariness were tactical tools. Lynching was intended to demonstrate that any black person, male or female, adult or child, could be accused of any offense and be ritually slaughtered. The law was no protection, and guilt was presumed because being black was the real crime.”
Read more in The New York Times.