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Genre Synthesis Lynching in America

GenreSynthesis: Lynching in America

Lynchingin its immediate context are the acts of extrajudicial killings thatwere done by the whites on the black American in the United Statesafter the American Civil War. The blacks were subjected to deathmostly hanging by the Whites as a source of carrying out justice. Themurdering in most cases was carried by the mob. The lynching was doneto African Americans who lived in the United States particularly thewomen and men in the South. The acts of lynching mainly occurredduring the times of political suppression that was carried out by thewhites to the blacks in the year 1892 (O`Brien,21).These murders were also very common also in the Old West in which thevictims here were the African American men. The process was carriedout with the notion of rooting out the bad behavior among BlackAfrican community. One of the most significant issues thatspearheaded the notion of lynching is the high level of racism thatwas experience between the whites and the blacks (EqualJustice Initiative, 2).In this context, there are various genres of literature that havebeen postulated by various scholars and researchers on this topic tounveil some of the issues that surrounding lynching in the UnitedStates by the whites to the African Americans. This synthesis paperlooks into three sets of genres with reference as depicted by thethree authors that revolves around lynching. The three types of genretalked about in this analysis are a short story titled ‘TheFlowers’done by Alice Walker, a poem titled ‘astrange fruit’ doneby Abel Meeropol and lastly, an exposé titled ‘ARed Record’ byIda B. Wells. These three types of genre are well discussed in linewith the current theme of lynching.

Asnoted earlier, lynching of the black Americans by the whites wasdeemed to be a heinous act that occurred during and after the adventof the North American Slavery. One of the reasons why Abel utilizedthe genre of poem is because the context of exposition of the themelynching is quite figurative. The explanations given by the authorare deemed to carry more weight and firm assertions against this actof lynching. From the first sentence, the attention of the reader isdrawn on the context of bearing of the strange fruit to accentuatethe bilateral divide seen between the North and South Americans onthe notion of lynching (Meeropol,1).In general terms, poems are written in short words but speaks volumewhen interpreted. The meanings of the words are written by Abelconnotes his thoughts, propositions and role of the substantialmessage the poem is trying to bring on board. On the account of theshort story titled ‘TheFlowers’done by Alice Walker, the author uses this genre to reveal the act oflynching in its plan context. Short stories have the effect of givingup-to-date information about the study topic with keen attention toinclusion of a wide variety of thematic issues. In this context, theauthor is keen not only to include the theme of lynching but toaccentuate both the notion of racism and the loss of innocence asstrong thematic issues in the story. The exposé done Ida Wells isanother masterpiece of expression lynching as an act of impunity. Themotive behind the use of this genre is to allow her to express herinner feelings to the audience and personal opinion on the act. Asnoted in her bibliography, Ida B. Wells was a Black American wholived at the time when lynching was widely practiced in the NorthernAmerica (Wells-Barnett,2).In this context exposé is one of the best genre that would sufficeher feelings, emotions and stand on the theme of lynching. It shouldbe noted as well that the use of exposé puts the theme to aproprietary stance. As an enigma for the advocacy for anti-slaverywithin the united states, this genre was best suited for use in herposition.

Acloser look at the constructs of ‘ARed Record’ byIda B. Wells, the work of literature takes a more personal approachto the whole context of depicting the practice of high end lynchingin the Northern part of the United States. This exposé was done atthe times when the American living on the south had decided toabolish the notion of slavery. This awakening was quite important asit acted a tool that was deemed to be substantially important inreducing the advents of lynching of the blacks (Wells-Barnett,2).The fact the author takes a personal approach in her postulationmakes her to be the enigma who spearheaded the anti-slavery campaignsand activisms. As a journalist who was born boy a slave, sheunderstands the predicaments that the slaves undergo. From thenarrations of the exposé, Ida draws here inspiration from thebrutality that the blacks were facing just before the emancipation.She stresses on the acts of impunity to express the theme of lynchingwhen she says “……show that during these years more than ten thousand Negroes have beenkilled in cold blood, without the formality of judicial trial andlegal execution.”(Wells-Barnett,2)Thetiming of this piece of literature is well connected to the situationas it was the time when lobbying was extensively to provide leverageto the Africans who at then had been emancipated. The emancipationhere came at time when there was high level of racism hence thispiece of work would send a message of peace and reconciliation tothis fraternity. The transition in to the new era emancipationcreated a window for the next level of impunity. The inception ofthis exposé by Ida at this point was well substantiated as itunveiled to the world how the whites have transformed the act ofimpunity to the Black race.

Thepoem titled ‘astrange fruit’ doneby Abel Meeropol is another master piece of the exposition oflynching as pertinent thematic issue. The poem was written andanti-lynching song at the time when this act of impunity against theblacks were still prevalent in the southern part of the United States“Southerntrees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root.”Thecycle of violence that the African Americans faced at the time of thewriting of the poem has been figuratively accentuated by Abel in thepoem (Meeropol,1).The word “StrangeFruit” portendsthe notion of the text that aphoristically produces an image anddevours that image for the create a proposition of a rhetoricaleffect. The advertent description of the deteriorating body in thiscontext postulates the scenes that assist to reframe the scene as ananti-lynching by absorbing the previous connotation made about theacts of lynching. The author is keen to relate the benefits lynchingto the Americans to the disadvantage that the Black American got fromthe same (Meeropol,1).In trying to give more meaning of the extent of impunity due tolynching in the United States, he gives proper motive behind thesekillings by the whites. The main reason for this course was tocatapult the notion of racism which has been in force from timeimmemorial. Additionally, there was the notion of high level protestof the whites on the abolition of the slavery. The whites benefitmore from this act of slavery since they got the free labor from. Theconviction that he had over the extrajudicial killings and the highprevalence of racism in the South permitted the author provide assubstantial piece of literature with state of arts skills that indeeddelivered the message to the humanity at large (Meeropol,1).

Theshort story titled ‘TheFlowers’done by Alice Walker is another piece which explicates theme oflynching within the context of Black Americans. The timing of thestory is not well accentuated as it was constructed at the time whenact had become off age. The author is keen to unveil certain aspectsof the loss of innocence while referring to the Blacks in American.The young girl Myop,usedin this short story stands as a depiction of the real innocence thatthe black Americans have in wake of these extrajudicial killings(Walker,1).This postulation is made evident in the context of reaction that theyoung girl makes when she realizes that the man who had died waskilled by the lynch mob. The poem had the main message of warning theAfrican Americans of the new force of impunity on them at the timewhen the emancipation had been unveiled. The artistic deviceprevalently used in this short story is the descriptive sentenceswhich allowed for creation clear picture of the what was happening atevery juncture of the story in the mind of the readers “Frayed,rotted, bleached, and frazzled–barely there–but spinning restlesslyin the breeze.”(Walker,1). Althoughit provides an advent of improper timing, the theme of awakening ofthe lynching practices has been clearly unveiled in this short story.

Insummary, three types of literacy work that represent different genreshas explicitly place the theme of lynching of the African American inits immediate context. Lynching is depicted as an act of impunityfrom the perspective of the three literacy works discussed. From theanalysis, the author that has explicitly given this theme its bestdescription in the poem titled ‘astrange fruit’ doneby Abel Meeropol. The poet is keen to encompass all the feature ofthis genre in his work with extensive use of figurative language. Theauthor has also created a relationship between the act of lynchingand other themes like racism and discrimination. In trying to givemore meaning of the extent of impunity due to lynching in the UnitedStates, he gives proper motive behind these killings by the whites.The main reason for this course was to explain the notion of racismwhich has been in force from time immemorial. Additionally, there wasthe notion of high level protest of the whites on the abolition ofthe slavery. The author therefore created a depiction of accuratetiming and the proper explanation of the thematic issue of lynching.


EqualJustice Initiative. Lynchingin America: Confronting the legacy of racial terror. Report summary.2015.

Margolick,David. StrangeFruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society And An Early Cry For CivilRights: Billie Holiday, Café Society And An Early Cry For CivilRights.Canongate Books, 2013.

Meeropol,Abel. &quotStrange fruit.&quot (1937).


Walker,Alice. &quotIn Search of Our Mothers` Gardens: The Creativity ofBlack Women in the South (1974).&quot MS-NEWYORK-12.2 (2002): 23-26.

Walker,Jane. Flowers.Gloucester, 1993.

Wells-Barnett,Ida B. &quotOn Lynching: Southern Horrors, a Red Record, Mob Rule inNew Orleans.&quot NY:Arno and the New York Times(1969).