Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, historical institutions (state archives, historical societies, museums, etc.) neglected to keep accurate records of racially motivated killings. Instead, civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and anti-lynching activists, like Ida B. Wells, worked to document the lynchings of African Americans. In the early 20th century, residents also protested anti-Mexican violence at the hands of the state police, local law enforcement, US soldiers, and vigilantes. Journalists, like Jovita Idár, civilians, like Frank Pierce, and elected officials, like State Representative José Tomas Canales, made efforts to shift cultures of violence. Mapping Violence builds on these pioneering efforts to create a record of racial violence in Texas.
Each case of racial violence is significant for shaping our understanding of the past. A research team of students Brown University contributed to the project from 2015 until 2020. Today, a team of students at the University of Texas at Austin are contributing to the project by researching previously unrecorded cases of racist violence. Researchers are consulting a range of sources including oral histories, legal files, photographs, letters of correspondence, police reports, newspaper articles, congressional investigation records, federal investigations, consulate records, NAACP archives, and records preserved by other civil rights pioneers.
Mapping Violence is a multi-year effort. The team will add our findings, educational resources, and curated content over the course of the next weeks, months, and years.
Monica Muñoz Martinez, “Lives, Not Metadata: Recovery Methods for Digital Histories of Racial Violence,” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science – Special Issue: Legacies of Racial Violence: Clarifying and Addressing the Presence of the Past. March 2021 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00027162211014424
Monica Muñoz Martinez, “Racial Violence in the West,” The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Vol 20, Issue 1, January 2021 pp 114-21. Special Forum: Lynching in the New South A Quarter of a Century Later. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1537781420000535
Monica Muñoz Martinez, “Mapping Segregated Histories of Racial Violence.” American Quarterly Volume 70, No. 3 (September 2018): 657 – 663. doi:10.1353/aq.2018.0049