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The short story The Lynching of Jube Benson by African American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar is set in the southern part of the United States during the 1900s during the post-emancipation of black slaves According to the story it would seem that the lynching was racially motivated Lynching was common practice during Dunbars time According to historian John Simkin lynching was the illegal execution of an accused person by a mob Simkin He goes on to say that It has been estimated that between 1880 and 1920 an average of two African Americans a week were lynched in the United States Some say those who supported lynching justified the practice as a way to assert power over African Americans and provide a sense of white unity Simkin asserts that although lynching was originally a system of punishment used by whites against African American slaves whites who protested against lynching were also in danger of being lynched 1 Lynching was often spoken of as a celebratory event which included children as spectators This is why one of the characters in the story Dr Melville view it as a family tradition Allowing children to attend was meant to reinforce the ideology of white supremacy that was to be carried forward into future generations This is what happens in Dr Melvilles life In retrospect he makes reference as to why he allows himself to become involved in Jube Bensons lynching he blames it on the false education of his childhood In my essay I will discuss how Dr Melville uses imagery and metaphor namely a black panther and sickness to give voice to his diabolical other self that part of him that participates in Bensons racially motivated lynching It is a common occurrence for blacks to be falsely accused of stealing murdering and raping white women Accusations against a black
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