A database of what Burnham calls a 'forgotten history of racially motivated homicides' in the American South during the Jim Crow era ... Recounting such stories is part of the important work that this book does, offering evidence as a rejoinder to decades of 'manufactured uncertainty' ... But historical retrieval is only part of Burnham’s goal with this book, which also makes a case for reparations ... Each death in this book is recounted with intensity and specificity, but some patterns do emerge ... With justice so elusive, even a simple acknowledgment of the facts is a necessary step.
Burnham demonstrates how Black Americans challenged racial violence and the legal system that supported it, including efforts in Northern states to thwart rendition of fugitives back to the South ... A final eloquent chapter makes clear the need for reparations to Black communities ... Readers interested in the long history of the civil rights struggle should definitely read this.
A searing study ... Burnham illuminates the role that white terror played in controlling Black life, resistance efforts mounted by Black communities in the face of indifference and hostility from federal and local governments, and the legacy of Jim Crow in the modern-day judicial system. The result is an essential reckoning with America’s history of racial violence.