Student Reflections

Brie Smiley

For a semester, I researched the lives of three unknown black men who were accused of arson and lynched in Pickens County in October 1886. Read More

Isabella Garrison

On March 13, 1919, Cicero Cage, a young black man living in Ralph, Alabama, was “cut to pieces,” or stabbed, by the white men of his community. Cage was accused of violating the purity of a white woman; the white men in his community chose to lynch him for this crime.  Read More

Austin Foss

As a Southerner, I have always had a complicated relationship to exploring the past. So much of Southern history remains in the shadows of modern consciousness, and as someone with deep Southern roots, I understand the desire to keep the past in the shadows, in my experience I have tried to avoid looking into the hollow of my family tree out of fear of what could be lurking there. Read More

Dana Sweeney

Until recently, I had a remarkably rudimentary knowledge of lynching and did not at all grasp its momentous, lasting importance in American life. I grew up in a small town in southeastern Georgia, and in the course of my public education there, I learned to approach lynching as a distant and detached historical phenomenon. Read More

Maruka Walker

I believe I am a very self-aware and socially conscious intellectual. As a woman of faith and lover of black history, I have always prided myself on being well versed in the subject matter. Yet, I have reached a new depth in my love and my knowledge with my class’s research into lynching in Tuscaloosa County and the lasting effects of lynching on American culture. Read More

Aaron Drake

This class was a roller coaster ride of emotions, stress, and wavering optimism. But I couldn’t have asked for a better history course to increase my appreciation and understanding of History as a field of study, while engraining a critical understanding of lynchings and their place in American history. Read More

Margaret Lawson

Throughout my time researching the history of lynching in America, I struggled to understand my place in memorializing the victims of racially motivated violence and inequality. As white woman from Jackson, Mississippi, I spent the majority of my life unaware of the legacy left by slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement. Read More

Ellie Bowers

“But you’re white, so why study lynching?” This was a question asked by nearly every person I shared this research with. It took me nearly until the end of this project to be able to articulate exactly why, but even now, researching the lives of 10 lynching victims is hard to summarize in a few sentences. Read More

Jordan Butler

During my time at the University of Alabama, I’ve taken many classes that have made me view the world differently. None have had quite as personal an impact, however, as Southern Memory. Having grown up in the South, I was used to Confederate monuments on every other street corner, and knew older men who were named after Confederate generals. Read More

Libby Hufham

Growing up in a state saturated with Confederate memorials put me at a bit of a disadvantage when it came to a full recounting of history. Read More