Riley Taylor

When family members and friends asked what classes I would be taking in the fall 2017 semester, I would begin listing them off and when I would mention that I was taking a course about lynchings in the American South they would always ask what the course was about and what made me decide to take it.  In the beginning, I could only truly give an answer to one of the questions — which was why I took the course and that was because being from the Midwest I want to fully dive into the history of the South to really get an understanding of where I was living and going to school.

David William was one of many lynchings that occurred in Pickens County and throughout the American South and it was my job to revive his story. While trying to dig up the past throughout the semester I learned how to use many academic websites and how to do real in-depth research. Learning how to do so has been the most useful tool I have acquired in all the courses I have taken so far.

Throughout the semester we talked, discussed, and learned about an era of American history that is often not discussed or sometimes deliberately overlooked, the Era of Racial Terror. In this class, we learned how the legacies that go along with lynching did not stop when the lynchings did and how they are still alive and prevalent in today’s society. We learned how these legacies have affected the mass incarceration of African Americans today.