So black ministers weren’t often lynching victims, but they could be targeted if they got in the way.
I.T. Burgess, a preacher in Putnam County, Florida, was hanged in 1894 after being accused of planning to instigate a revolt, according to a May 30, 1894, story in the Atlanta Constitution newspaper. Later that year, in December, the Constitution also reported, Lucius Turner, a preacher near West Point, Georgia, was shot by two brothers for apparently writing an insulting note to their sister.
Ida B. Wells wrote in her 1895 editorial “A Red Record” about Reverend King, a minister in Paris, Texas, who was beaten with a Winchester Rifle and placed on a train out of town. His offense, he said, was being the only person in Lamar County to speak against the horrific 1893 lynching of the handyman Henry Smith.
In each of these cases, the victim’s profession was ancillary to their lynching. But preaching was not incidental to black pastors’ resistance to lynching.
My dissertation research shows black pastors across the U.S. spoke out against racial violence during its worst period, despite the clear danger that it put them in.
Read the rest here.