For a variety of readings on race, violence, and their legacies, see the Charleston syllabus:

Below is our working bibliography of resources on lynchings in North Carolina and beyond.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Major Works

Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases (1892)

The Reason Why the Colored American is No in the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893)

The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States (1895)

Lynch Law in Georgia (1899)

Mob Rule in New Orleans (1900)

Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells, ed. by Alfreda M. Duster [1991],  2nd edition  (2020)

*For the most complete edition of primary writings, see: Ida B. Wells: The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader (2014)


The North Carolina History Project: The Forest City Lynching


Amy Kate Bailey and Stewart E. Tolnay, Lynched: The Victims of Southern Mob ViolenceUNC Press, 2016.

Bruce E. Baker, The Mob Will Surely Take My Life: Lynchings in the Carolinas, 1871-1947. Continuum, 2008.

E.M. Beck and Stewart E. Tolnay, A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930. University of Illinois Press, 1995.

W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South . UNC Press, 1997

Claude Andrew Clegg. Troubled Ground : A Tale of Murder, Lynching, and Reckoning in the New South. University of Illinois Press, 2010.

Jacqueline Denise Goldsby, A Spectacular Secret : Lynching in American Life and Literature. University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Ken Gonzales-Day, Lynching in the West, 1850-1935. Duke University Press, 2006.

Jonathan Markovitz, Legacies of Lynching : Racial Violence and Memory. University of Minnesota Press, 2004.

Donald G. Mathews, At the Altar of Lynching. Cambridge, 2018.

Koritha Mitchell, Living with Lynching. University of Illinois Press, 2012.

Vann R. Newkirk, Lynching in North Carolina: A History, 1865-1941. McFarland, 2014.

Ashraf H. A. Rushdy, The End of American LynchingOxford, 2012 and American Lynching. Yale, 2012.

Timothy B. Tyson, The Blood of Emmett TillNSimon and Schuster, 2018.

Michael J. Pfeiffer, The Roots of Rough Justice : Origins of American Lynching. University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Amy Wood, Lynching and Spectacle : Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940. UNC Press, 2009.

(Articles are available to UNC students, faculty, and staff. If you are unaffiliated with UNC you may be able to access them through your institution.)

David Garland, “Penal Excess and Surplus Meaning: Public Torture Lynchings in Twentieth Century North Carolina.” Law & Society Review 39, no. 4 (2005): 793-833.

Kirk W. Fuoss . “Lynching Performances, Theaters of Violence.Text and Performance Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 1 (June 2009):1-37.

Mullen, Lincoln A.  “Lynching, Visualization, and Visibility,” Journal of Southern Religion 17 (2015):

Charles David Phillips, “Relations among forms of Social Control: The Lynching and Execution of Blacks in North Carolina, 1889-1918.” Law & Society Review 21, no. 3 (1987): 361-74. doi:10.2307/3053375.

Christopher Waldrep, “War of Words: The Controversy over the Definition of Lynching, 1899-1940.” Journal of Southern History 66, no. 1 (2000): 75-100 and Lynching in America: A History in Documents

Kidada E. Williams, “Regarding the Aftermath of Lynchings.”Journal of American History 101, no. 3 (2014): 856-858.

Charlotte Wolf “Constructions of a Lynching.” Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 62, No. 1 (February 1992): 83-97.