By the late 19th century, black Americans had the political experience and confidence to begin to push back against what was, in effect, a gradual decrease in civil rights. In 1888 the Tuskeegee Institute began to assiduously document lynchings, a practice it would continue until 1968. [13] Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a black journalist, was shocked when three of her friends in Memphis, Tennessee were lynched for opening a grocery that competed with a white-owned store. Outraged, Wells-Barnett began a global anti-lynching campaign that raised awareness of the American injustice.


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