10 American States With the Most Lynchings of Black People From 1882–1968
With well over 581 lynchings, Mississippi tops the list with the most total lynchings during this time, according to statistics provided by the Tuskegee Institute. Out of the 581 people who were lynched across this time span, more than 90 percent were Black. Perhaps the most well-known lynching in the state was that of 14-year-old Emmett Till. Documents released by the University of Virginia Press in a book titled “The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative,” the young Black boy was spending the summer with his family in Money, Mississippi, when he was accused of whistling at a white woman. In a disgusting display of racism, a group of white men hunted Till down, severely beat him, gouged out one of his eyes and shot him in the head. Documents published in the book reveal that a fisherman eventually found Till’s body in the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire.
Georgia had 531 lynchings occur during this time, with 492 of them targeting Black people. Fewer than 40 of the lynching victims were white. According to a report by the University of Georgia’s E. M. Beck and the University of Washington’s Stewart E. Tolnay, the frequency of the lynchings in Georgia was particularly disturbing. Their “New Georgia Encyclopedia” entry reveals that there was at least one mob killing of a Black person every month in Georgia between 1890 and 1900. The scholars also point to the fact that these numbers represented the recorded number of lynchings and didn’t account for the many Black victims who were lynched secretly before their bodies were burned or disposed of without any official record being made.