why was violence so intence in the late 20th century in america. As illustrated by Jean Toomer, the shouts of a single mob may sound “like a hundred mobs yelling” (Wood 1), and the image of violence and terror kept on burning long after it was done. All the daily violence and degradations that black southerners experienced may, actually, be filtered into the occurrence of lynching, so that it becomes the main depiction of racial oppression and injustice altogether. This essay explains that the intense violence in the latter part of the 20th century in America, especially as regards lynching, is largely characterized by violence against African Americans.
The lynching took on an enormous symbolic force specifically because it was unusual and concretely frightening. This violence that a massive number of white audiences watched as victims were tortured and hanged were the most terrifying image. The utter cruelty of the mobs, and their blatant disrespect of the law, astonished and frightened because they go against universal beliefs of what cultured individuals should or may be capable of (Holmes & Smith 17). Nevertheless, African Americans did not have to witness a lynching to be frightened by it, to sense that ‘penalty of death’ lingering over them every day of their lives (Wood 26). According to Wright, “The white brutality that I had not seen as more effective control of my behaviour than that which I knew. The actual experience would have let me see the realistic outlines of what was really happening, but as long as it remained something terrible and yet remote, something whose horror and blood might descend upon me at any moment, I was compelled to give my entire imagination over it” (Holmes & Smith 19). It was the scene of lynching, instead of the brutality itself, which inflicted psychological injury, which imposed black submission to white supremacy.
All the more, mobs carried out lynchings as a show for other white folks. The tortures, the procedures, and their later images sent powerful messages to the white people about their alleged racial supremacy. .