Imagine getting killed for passing a note to a white woman.
That’s what happened to lynching victim Thomas Miles Sr, of Shreveport, Louisiana. Miles was lynched on April 9, 1912, according to newspapers from that day. He had been arrested the day before for allegedly exchanging notes with a white woman. But Miles wasn’t alone.
He was one of over 4,000 African Americans lynched between 1877 and 1950 in the United States. A report led by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) states that those people had been lynched across 20 of their states. Between 1910 and 1970, over six million African Americans migrated north and west, away from the racial terror that consumed the south at the time.
"In order to heal the deep wounds of our present, we must face the truth of our past."
Lynching is a term used to describe the killing of someone for an accused offence without legal trial.
Now Google.org has partnered with the EJI to create a site specifically about lynching in the US. The website includes information such as where the crimes happened and how many were reported in each state. This information was brought together and highlights specific cases of lynching through written profiles, pictures and interviews with the victims’ family members.
The website states that: "In order to heal the deep wounds of our present, we must face the truth of our past ... These lynching’s were public acts of racial terrorism, intended to instill fear in black communities ... The effects of racial terror lynching’s are still felt today."
Google.org has also recently announced that they will be donating $1 million to the EJI, that will go towards a mass Incarceration Museum as well as a planned memorial to Peace and Justice in the state of Alabama. This is an additional to their prior $1 million donation in 2016. Since November 2015, Google has raised a massive $17 million for the cause of racial justice activism.
“Google has been able to take what we know about lynching and make that knowledge accessible to a lot more people."
The founder of EJI, Bryan Stevenson, said in a statement that the stories of the past can now be heard, seen and read online.
“Google has been able to take what we know about lynching, and what we have heard from the families, and what we have seen in the spaces and the communities where these acts of terror took place, and make that knowledge accessible to a lot more people."
Stevenson said this all came about after ‘black Googlers and others expressed a desire to do something in response to the Travyon Martin Shooting. LINK HERE:
“Google enthusiastically supported EJI's work but also wanted to collaborate on a project, which is how this interactive website was born and raised.”