Ida B. Wells and the Economics of Racial Violence

In the latest essay in our “Reading Racial Conflict” series, Megan Ming Francis draws attention to the extraordinary work of Ida B. Wells. In the late nineteenth century, Wells exposed the extent of racial violence in the United States by documenting lynching and then disseminating her findings through her books, journalism, and activism. Ming Francis emphasizes a further innovation by Wells—i.e., how she connected lynchings to the economic interests and status anxieties of white southerners, as well as the relevance of this connection to understanding contemporary racial conflicts.

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Welcome to our Theory discussion board! We hope that this will provide a space for debate about the readings that we publish on the site, as well as for discussion about more general theoretical issues about race and capitalism. Please note that this is a private discussion board–only members of the race and capitalism project will be able to read your posts and comment on them.

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Welcome to our History discussion board! We hope that this will provide a space for debate about the readings that we publish on the site, as well as for discussion about specific historical issues about race and capitalism. Please note that this is a private discussion board–only members of the race and capitalism project will be able to read your posts and comment on them.