Lynching and Leisure: Race and the Transformation of Mob Violence in Texas (Paperback)

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Lynching and Leisure: Race and the Transformation of Mob Violence in Texas By Terry Anne Scott Cover Image

Lynching and Leisure: Race and the Transformation of Mob Violence in Texas (Paperback)


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Winner, 2022 Ottis Lock Endowment “Best Book” Award from the East Texas Historical Association

In Lynching and Leisure, Terry Anne Scott examines how white Texans transformed lynching from a largely clandestine strategy of extralegal punishment into a form of racialized recreation in which crowd involvement was integral to the mode and methods of the violence. Scott powerfully documents how lynchings came to function not only as tools for debasing the status of Black people but also as highly anticipated occasions for entertainment, making memories with friends and neighbors, and reifying whiteness. In focusing on the sense of pleasure and normality that prevailed among the white spectatorship, this comprehensive study of Texas lynchings sheds new light on the practice understood as one of the chief strategies of racial domination in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century South.
Terry Anne Scott is Director of the Institute for Common Power. She is a former associate professor of American history and Chair of the History Department at Hood College. Dr. Scott is the editor of Seattle Sports: Play, Identity, and Pursuit in the Emerald City.
Product Details ISBN: 9781682262184
ISBN-10: 1682262189
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
Pages: 400
Language: English
“This original and revealing examination of the puzzling practices and discourses that framed lynching as a leisure activity reveals a fundamental shift in the character of racial violence in the early twentieth century. A must-read for understanding how ordinary people could perpetrate the most barbaric racial atrocities.”
—Thomas C. Holt, author of The Movement: The African American Struggle for Civil Rights

“Terry Anne Scott speaks directly to our current moment by insisting that white supremacy infects every aspect of American life. Through painstaking archival data and vivid, gruesome storytelling, Scott explodes misconceptions about recreation and pleasure in modern times. Lynching and Leisure is a spectacular revelation, showing how violence, justice, technology, fun, and profit bleed together to serve those in power. In the tradition of Ida B. Wells and legions of Black journalists, Scott documents these atrocities with courage and candor.”
—Ellen D. Wu, author of The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority

Lynching and Leisure is a deeply researched and superbly crafted study of the extralegal, and illegal, execution of African Americans—an American mortal sin. This book is a must-read for anyone immersed in the evolving historical literature concerning race relations in America.”
—Kenneth M. Hamilton, author of Booker T. Washington in American Memory

“Terry Anne Scott’s Lynching and Leisure: Race and the Transformation of Mob Violence in Texas is a painful, important book. In it, Scott explores the lynching of Black Texans from the wake of Reconstruction to the 1940s, assembling a record of anti-Black racist atrocities in Texas—atrocities that remain undercounted to this day. … Scott’s detailed analysis of lynching as leisure, and all that that meant for white Texans, makes Lynching and Leisure a valuable addition to the literature on lynching specifically, and racist violence generally.”
—Simon Balto, The Journal of Southern History, May 2023