Melinda Meador
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Guides to Research on Lynchings

In the 50 years between 1869 and 1918, 50 African Americans were lynched in a sparsely populated three-county area, far removed from the Cotton Belt and outside the ambit of the Tobacco Black Patch, along the state line in northwest Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. The characteristics of lynchings identified in previous studies have little relevance to the lynchings carried out in this three-county area where the African American population seldom exceeded twenty percent of the overall population. Unlike the Deep South, the practice appears not to have been driven by socio-economic and political factors but primarily by a lust for violence which manifested itself in aggressive guerilla tactics during the Civil War and in various vigilante groups for many years after the war.


Meador, Melinda (2021).  "STRANGE FRUIT: The Forgotten Lynchings of Northwest Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky, 1869-1931" (MS #1271).  Murray State Theses and Dissertations.

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