This chapter discusses the terror caused by these crimes and the history of such arsons in the American South. The fires recalled darker days in American history, harkening back to the days of Jim Crow segregation, when white southerners perfected the finer points of racial terror in keeping black folks “in their place” and hooded Klansmen destroyed property and lives at will. Like similar attacks in the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, the fires of the 1990s created terror, as intended.
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