Lesson Plan

Lesson 2: NAACP's Anti-Lynching Campaign in the 1930s

In this lesson students will participate in a role-play activity that has them become members of a newspaper or magazine editorial board preparing a retrospective report about the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign of the 1930s. As the students analyze and synthesize a variety of primary sources, they will gain a better understanding of the reasons for the failure of anti-lynching campaign of the 1930s, the limits of liberal reform during the New Deal, and the NAACP's decision to shift its focus to a legal campaign to end segregation.

Guiding Questions

Why did the NAACP pressure members of Congress to enact federal anti-lynching legislation in the 1930s?

Why did the NAACP shift its focus from anti-lynching legislation to legal challenges to segregation by the end of the 1930s?

How do President Franklin D. Roosevelt's unwillingness to support federal anti-lynching legislation and Congress's inability to enact a bill help to delineate the limits of liberal reform during the New Deal?

Learning Objectives

Examine the history of the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign in the 1930s.

Evaluate the reasons for the failure of the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign in the 1930s.

Analyze the motives of the opposition to the various anti-lynching bills and the reasons for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's reluctance to support the bills.