African Americans and the Lynching of Foreign Nationals in the United States

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This article reveals the impact of mob violence against foreign nationals in the United States on the African American campaign to outlaw lynching and secure justice for families of victims. From the late nineteenth century, the U.S. government responded to diplomatic pressure by paying indemnities to the relatives of foreigners lynched on American soil. Washington hoped thereby to protect the international reputation of their country at a time when the United States was playing an increasingly important role in world affairs. By contrast, the federal government remained largely indifferent to the lynching of African Americans. Black activists emphasized this contrast as a means to gain greater support for their own crusade against mob violence. In so doing, they demonstrated an understanding of how international politics could be used to further the domestic fight for civil rights reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-702
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of World History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History


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