About the work

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) held campaigns against lynching throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Their work toward anti-lynching laws was in reaction to laws enacted after the Civil War that left African Americans unprotected from harm by others. Loose interpretations of federal and state laws by white individuals primarily in the American South led to violent acts under the guise of pro-slavery justice. When this "justice" started to take place in the legal system, many African Americans were sentenced to death for misdemeanor charges or allegedly committing crimes. The LDF began to address the legality of capital punishment in southern states as "justice" mimicked that of earlier mob violence. This pin helped to demonstrate and support the LDF's cause to uphold racial justice in America.

Work Cited

“Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror.” 3rd, ed., Lynching in America, Equal Justice Initiative, 2017, https://lynchinginamerica.eji.org/report/. Accessed 28 Aug. 2022.

National Museum of African American History and Culture Object Description

A blue and white circular pinback button. The top half reads "STOP LYNCHING" in white on blue background; the lower half reads "N.A.A.C.P. / LEGAL DEFENSE FUND" in blue on a white background.

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