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Bullets and Fire

Guy Lancaster

Published Date: December 29, 2017

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Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840-1950
6 x 9

About this book

Bullets and Fire is the first collection on lynching in Arkansas, exploring all corners of the state from the time of slavery up to the mid-twentieth century and covering stories of the perpetrators, victims, and those who fought against vigilante violence.


Among the topics discussed are the lynching of slaves, the Arkansas Council of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, the 1927 lynching of John Carter in Little Rock, and the state’s long opposition to a federal anti-lynching law.


Throughout, the work reveals how the phenomenon of lynching—as the means by which a system of white supremacy reified itself, with its perpetrators rarely punished and its defenders never condemned—served to construct authority in Arkansas. Bullets and Fire will add depth to the growing body of literature on American lynching and integrate a deeper understanding of this violence into Arkansas history.

About the editor

Guy Lancaster is the editor of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System, and the author of the award-winning Racial Cleansing in Arkansas, 1883–1924: Politics, Land, Labor, and Criminality.


“Guy Lancaster has assembled a wide-ranging collection illuminating the scale, scope, and geographic range of lynching and its attendant atrocities from the understudied antebellum period to the Cold War. Part of a new wave of state-level studies, Bullets and Fire documents, explores, and analyzes some of the hundreds of anti-black lynchings that scarred Arkansas for over a century and the efforts of a diverse assemblage of anti-lynching activists who undertook to curb this most pernicious symbol of white supremacy.”

—Brent M. S. Campney, author of This Is Not Dixie: Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927

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