The 1920 Duluth lynchings is the subject of a series of three short videos released by PBS-TV’s Independent Lens. The videos share the title A Lynching in the Family. Part one, above, is subtitled “Accuser, Instigator, Victim.”
In 1920, three innocent black men were lynched by a white mob in Duluth, Minnesota, after the men were falsely accused of raping a young white woman. Nearly 100 years later, three men learn they are direct descendants of a victim and of perpetrators in this brutal lynching. As the details unravel, the men try to come to terms with their connection to this horrific history. “The last thing you want to do is be associated with anything like that,” says a descendant of someone who participated in the Duluth lynching.
Part two is subtitled “Families, and Their History with Racism.”
After three men find out they are descendants connected to a horrific lynching that took place in 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota, they meet for the first time to come to terms with their shared past and understand the guilt and shame in their family lineages.
Part three is subtitled “Reconciliation is Not an Easy Process”
Three men discover they are descendants connected to a horrific lynching that took place in 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota — “different families on both sides of a tragic event,” as one of them puts it here. These men — one an African American descendant of one of the men lynched, the other two related to the false accuser and one of the perpetrators — meet up at the memorial to the lynching in Duluth. They learn more about their shared place in this terrible history and work to find a way forward — together. As Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP says, reconciliation is a process, it does not happen overnight.
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