Musarium: Without Sanctuary

The Trent Lott debacle, along with President Bush’s resubmitted nomination of Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. to the appellate-court bench, has injected the issue of race, along with the Republican Party’s “southern strategy,” back into the arena of public discussion. For whites, it is easy and convenient to think of the bitter fruits of discrimination in abstract terms. Viewing this site drives the grim legacy of Jim Crow home with haunting effectiveness. It is not for the squeamish; the site catalogs 81 photographs of various lynchings, many of the photos originally sold as postcards, which were assembled by James Allen into a book entitled Without Sanctuary. Some of the photos were sequenced into a Flash movie narrated by Allen; there is also a discussion board. It is difficult to look at these photos, especially considering the trajectory of George W. Bush’s America.