Students in a history class at the University of Alabama have conducted extensive research on lynchings that occurred in and around Tuscaloosa between 1884 and 1950. Their research found eight lynchings occurred in Tuscaloosa County and two other Black men from Tuscaloosa were lynched in nearby counties.
The class “Southern Memory: Lynchings in the South,” examined the history and legal environment that led to more than 4,000 lynchings of African Americans in the post-Reconstruction period through the civil rights era. After gaining a general background on the subject of lynching, students were assigned research to document the story of an individual lynching victim.
The research will eventually be posted online on a digital humanities website. On Monday March 6, a historical plaque bearing the names of the lynching victims was unveiled in front of the old Tuscaloosa Jail, where some of the victims were housed before they were taken from the facility and lynched.
A new class that will examine lynchings in Alabama’s Bibb or Jefferson County will be held during the Fall 2017 semester.