During the twentieth century in the United States, untold thousands of people were victims of racially motivated lynchings, homicides, police shootings, bombings, physical assault, and banishment from communities. Much of this violence was state-sanctioned. As a result, assailants rarely faced arrest and grand juries regularly failed to issue indictments. Instead, victims were often criminalized. The suffering of racial and ethnic minorities was often disavowed by journalists, historians, and justice systems alike. But the full scope of this violence and the widespread historical trauma is still unknown.
What would we learn if a record of racist violence existed? To answer that question, Mapping Violence is researching cases of racist violence in one state, Texas, during a relatively short period of time, between 1900 and 1930. Research findings will be made available to the public to help inform future research, policy, and public education. Mapping Violence will also develop methods to scale this project, geographically and temporally.