The materials for this month's subject contain disturbing subject matter and images and may be upsetting or traumatizing to some audiences.
Calendar photo caption: An exhibit at EJI's Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, contains 800 jars of soil collected in counties across the country to commemorate victims of racial terror violence. (Bryan G. Stevenson)
White resentment of potential social, political, and economic gains for Black people and the desire to uphold white supremacy after the Civil War fueled racial terror violence and mass lynchings well into the 20th century.
During the Red Summer of 1919, violence by mobs of white people, often intentionally mischaracterized by mainstream press as "race riots," led to the lynchings of hundreds of Black people around the country, including in Chicago, Washington, and Omaha.
In Elaine, Arkansas, white mobs brutally targeted and killed hundreds of Black people after a Black labor union met to organize for fairer crop payments. Many military veterans, returning from fighting for freedom in World War I, were also targets of racial terror violence in 1919.
White mobs also destroyed Black property and communities, often forcing the entire Black population to flee. In Ocoee, Florida, white people used terror and violence to stop Black citizens from voting on November 2, 1920. They lynched dozens of Black residents in the two-day massacre, including Julius Perry, who had protected another Black man from armed white men at the polls. At least 25 Black homes, two churches, and a Masonic lodge were destroyed by arson during the rampage. The entire Black community was driven out within a year, and no Black Americans resided in Ocoee for the next 60 years.
The lynching of two Black couples near Moore's Ford Bridge in Walton County, Georgia, in 1946 exemplified the terrifying racial violence that continues to haunt Black communities to this day.