In certain aspects the human mind works in a rather simplistic way: we forget the wrong we did and we remember the wrong others have done to us. It’s evolutionary in a way, one starves depression and the other keeps us on our toes regarding the danger we might be in.
We also tend to forget pages of our history simply because we are ashamed of them. We’d rather not have the world, and new generations especially, be aware of the mistake we have made in the past. We want to save face, even in the darkest of times and rather hide than face our errors and learn from them.
However, there are times when we have caused abominable deeds against fellow man, and while we can blame the region or the age we must also make a point of the fact that it was those exact regions and times that have started a movement in eradicating the horrendous acts altogether. We must open our eyes and see the damage people like us have caused and that we need to make adjustments, that we need to learn of our past and make sure the future never has to face the same tragedy again.
For many of us the end of slavery was the emancipation of African-Americans, but that is not the case as this book shows in dramatic footage what life was in the years after the thirteenth amendment was passed. Lynchings of innocent men and women without any trial – brute force taking lives in the night and killing them in grotesque fashion. People lined up by the thousands, paying small fees so they can discharge their guns into the corpses of the condemned. Journalists and photographers recording the scenes only to justify the act or make a profit out of the images taken at the scene. Law enforcement and politicians that do not object and let the mob’s animalistic behaviour take course in fear of losing jobs and seats.
This book is a part of history – one that we might want to forget or others might want us to not know about. A part of history that is very rarely taught at the full length that it requires. No review will do it justice as it offers an experience that is so traumatic and personal it will linger on with you for a very long time.