A national nonprofit organization says at least 18 lynchings took place in Indiana between 1880 and 1940, as part of more than 300 lynchings in eight states outside the deep south during that time.
The Equal Justice Initiative released a new report Tuesday outlining the history of racial terror lynchings in the United States.
“Racial terror lynchings were horrific acts of targeted violence against African Americans…by white mobs who murdered black people with no risk of accountability or punishment,” the report says.
The report says it’s likely many more undocumented lynchings took place in Indiana. The 18 documented cases include two cases well-known in Indiana: the lynchings of Bud Rowland, Jim Henderson and John Rolla in 1900 and the lynchings of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in 1930. The latter became the subject of the most iconic photograph of lynching in America.
“The legacy of lynching in America is devastating, made worse by our continued silence about this history,” said EJI Executive Director Bryan Stevenson in a statement. “Our collective failure to acknowledge this history has created a contemporary political culture that doesn’t adequately value the victimization of people of color today.”
States adjacent to Indiana had a combined 168 lynchings: 15 in Ohio, 56 in Illinois and 168 in Kentucky.
In total, EJI documented more than 4,000 racial terror lynchings in 20 states between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950.