Frederick Jermaine Carter, a 26-year old native of Sunflower, Mississippi was found hanging from this tree in the white section of Greenwood on December 3, 2010.
I recently started a new project that attempts to document (and in the future, help to create memorials) at historical sites of racial violence in the US. My main reference material was the amazing and disturbing book “Without Sanctuary”, which reproduced about 80 postcards that were used as souvenirs from lynchings throughout America. Here is a short video from the book. Unbelievably, many lynchings (which in many instances took the form of people being burned alive) took place on court house squares and whose huge audiences of the town folk, sometimes numbering in the thousands, came to view the incidents as entertainment. The project idea had been fomenting for years and I feel strongly that until these crimes are recognized and memorialized and we as a society reconsile our past our racial relations can’t move forward in a positive and productive way. I travelled thru three states to track down and photograph a handful of the locations of these racial atrocities that still go unmarked & unacknowledged today.
While in New Orleans I had a productive meeting with Professor Alex Mikulich at Loyola whose expertise lays in racism, lynching history and white privilege . He was interested in my project and we discussed its future and implications and he had great advice. He later selected one of my photos from the series to accompany his article for the magazine of the Jesuit Social Research Institute, “Just South Quarterly” a theology based social justice organization from Loyola University. Here is a PDF of the article and another of the entire issue. The layout with my image is below.