Digital Red Records

On January 26, 2018, the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project hosted "Digital Red Records", a workshop on digital collections covering historical racial violence in the United States. 

Held at Northeastern University School of Law, the workshop brought together four initiatives, the CRRJ-Nobles Archive, Mapping Violence, The Racial Violence Archive and the Bailey-Washington-Beck Database, with the shared purpose of accumulating records on historical racial violence and presenting them on digital platforms. The term "Red Record" refers to the endeavor of Ida B. Wells, co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who in the 1890s sought to document instances of lynching across the United States South in order to demonstrate its utility for curtailing the socio-political and economic progress of Black Americans.  The initiatives present at the workshop jointly sought to continue Wells' legacy through discussing how to keep, expand and augment existing records.

About the Initiatives

In recent years, scholars have synthesized the fields of digital humanities and race studies through embarking on digital projects that document historical racial and ethnic violence in the United States during the early and mid-twentieth century. Such studies serve to contextualize continuing and pervasive episodes of police violence and ethnic division today.  Through this movement, key questions have emerged as to what records should be prioritized, as well as to what extent and in what manner  they should be presented to the wider public as both educational and advocacy tools.

At the workshop, participants grappled with one of the core and enduring questions surrounding documentation of instances of racial violence - the classification of acts, specifically lynching. Since the Tuskegee Conference on lynching of December 11, 1940, debates have continued as to the necessity of classification for both conceptually and empirically maintaining records, and also to maximize their utility for scholarship and advocacy.

The second primary focus of discussion was how to synergize current collections and mobilize them for restorative justice efforts, including memorialization, public policy, education, civil or criminal prosecution and truth commissions.

Mapping Violence

Mapping Violence is a digital project that documents instances of racial violence in Texas during the period 1900-1930. During this period, vigilantes and Texas Rangers killed hundreds of ethnic and national Mexicans along the Mexico/Texas border, however, this history is widely unknown.

Mapping Violence is a digital project that documents instances of racial violence in Texas during the period 1900-1930. During this period, vigilantes and Texas Rangers killed hundreds of ethnic and national Mexicans along the Mexico/Texas border, however, this history is widely unknown.

Mapping Violence is a digital project that documents instances of racial violence in Texas during the period 1900-1930. During this period, vigilantes and Texas Rangers killed hundreds of ethnic and national Mexicans along the Mexico/Texas border, however, this history is widely unknown.

Monica Martinez, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University, is working alongside collaborators in computer science and ethnic studies to develop the archive.

Monica Martinez, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University, is working alongside collaborators in computer science and ethnic studies to develop the archive.

Monica Martinez, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University, is working alongside collaborators in computer science and ethnic studies to develop the archive.

The Racial Violence Archive

The Racial Violence Archive represents the research of Geoff Ward, Associate Professor of Criminology and Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine. The collection focuses on terroristic acts (i.e. intimidation, violence, and reprisal used to create fear and control behavior) targeting Black Americans in the 20th century U.S. South.

The Racial Violence Archive represents the research of Geoff Ward, Associate Professor of Criminology and Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine. The collection focuses on terroristic acts (i.e. intimidation, violence, and reprisal used to create fear and control behavior) targeting Black Americans in the 20th century U.S. South.

The Racial Violence Archive represents the research of Geoff Ward, Associate Professor of Criminology and Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine. The collection focuses on terroristic acts (i.e. intimidation, violence, and reprisal used to create fear and control behavior) targeting Black Americans in the 20th century U.S. South.

Bailey-Washington-Beck Archive

The database combines the work of Amy Kate Bailey, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who furthered upon the research of E.M. Beck and Stewart Tolnay of the University of Georgia. It records nearly a thousands lynchings that occurred in the South between 1882 and 1895, as well as 1900 through 1930.

The database combines the work of Amy Kate Bailey, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who furthered upon the research of E.M. Beck and Stewart Tolnay of the University of Georgia. It records nearly a thousands lynchings that occurred in the South between 1882 and 1895, as well as 1900 through 1930.

The database combines the work of Amy Kate Bailey, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who furthered upon the research of E.M. Beck and Stewart Tolnay of the University of Georgia. It records nearly a thousands lynchings that occurred in the South between 1882 and 1895, as well as 1900 through 1930.

CRRJ-Nobles Archive

The CRRJ-Nobles archive contains over 500 cases of racially motivated violence between the period 1930-1970, including records and visual/audio recordings. Over the previous year, CRRJ has partnered with archival and media experts to preserve its growing collection and render it accessible to researchers and the general public through a digital archive..

The CRRJ-Nobles archive contains over 500 cases of racially motivated violence between the period 1930-1970, including records and visual/audio recordings. Over the previous year, CRRJ has partnered with archival and media experts to preserve its growing collection and render it accessible to researchers and the general public through a digital archive..

The CRRJ-Nobles archive contains over 500 cases of racially motivated violence between the period 1930-1970, including records and visual/audio recordings. Over the previous year, CRRJ has partnered with archival and media experts to preserve its growing collection and render it accessible to researchers and the general public through a digital archive..

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Panelists

Amy Kate Bailey

Associate Professor
University of Illinois, Chicago

 

Margaret Burnham

Founder and Director
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project

Daniel Cohen

Vice Provost for Information Collaboration, Dean of the Libraries and Professor of History 
Northeastern University 

 

David Cunningham

Professor of Sociology
Washington University, St. Louis

 

  

Jay Driskell

Visiting Scholar
George Washington University

Emily Esten

MA student in Public Humanities 
Brown University 

Melvin J. Kelly, IV

Elizabeth Ann Zitrin Teaching Fellow 
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project 

 

 

Rhonda Jones 

Lead Archivist 
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project

 

 

Monica Martinez

Assistant Professor of American Studies
Brown University 

 

Giordana Mecagni

Head of Special Collections 
Northeastern University 

 

Melissa Nobles 

Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Margaret M. Russell 

Associate Professor of Law 
Santa Clara School of Law 

 

Kaylie Simon 

Project Director, Restorative Justice 
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project 

 

Sarah Sweeney 

Digital Repository Manager 
Northeastern University 

 

Geoff Ward

Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society 
University of California, Irvine

 

Nan Woodruff

Professor of African American Studies 
Penn State University 

 

 

Rose Zoltek-Jick

Associate Director 
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project