hat was it like to be a young black person, growing up around the turn of the 20th century?
It meant fighting off a nauseating fear that, seemingly, out of nowhere, with no apparent cause, your world could go up in smoke and your life could be snuffed out.
And it meant knowing that the laws, which were supposed to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination, were little protection, if any, for you.
I have, briefly, focused on three areas, in examining the conditions under which blacks suffered at the early part of the 20th century:
The statistics on lynching are for the 10 years before my father's birth.
I have chosen a four-year period from 1917 to 1921 in my discussion of race riots, a time when my father was in his teens.
The discussion of the erosion of legal protectionwhat I refer to as "injustice"covers the failure of the legal system that led to the racial bigotry of my father's era.