Mapping Racial Violence in America
The Racial Violence Archive uses web-based tools to document records of racial violence in the U.S., study their legacy, and support redress. The national map displays incomplete counts of events of race-related political violence in the United States from the 1870 to the late 1970s, tracking the progress of project data collection to date. Event data (counts) are clustered in U.S. counties. Shading represents the intensity of historical racial violence, as indicated by record counts in the current event database. Our data collection has focused to this point on events targeting African Americans in the states of MS, NC, and LA. We are currently working to document similar events in MO, SC, and GA.
The map above does not present total counts of events of racial violence in the history of the United States. Rather, the map visualizes data obtained from related databases (e.g., lynching data), published works (e.g., government reports and scholarly works), and our own archival research, all of which is ongoing. A truly comprehensive account is unattainable given limits of the historical record, and the different forms of racial violence (structural, cultural, and direct), but we map cases in our growing database to support urgent research, teaching, and engagement. A more complete record will fill this U.S. map with color, albeit with varying intensity, indicating areas distinguished by histories of racist violence.
Special Project Maps
Data from the Racial Violence Archive are also used to produce special project maps below.