On May 1st 1866, the city of Memphis in Tennessee saw an unprecedented eruption of racial violence. White mobs rampaged through black neighbourhoods as the authorities stood idly by. At the end of three days of rioting 46 freed people were dead and numerous black schools, churches and homes were burned down. As the events of Memphis became known around the country it divided the nation anew, with many suggesting this evidence of emancipation being a mistake.
This book sheds new light onto the massacre and opens an entirely new view onto the Civil War and its aftermath. Well researched and thoroughly sourced, the author tracks the riot and creates a harrowing case study into mob violence, also showing us the early seeds of the coming features that dominated the American South - the KKK, lynching, Jim Crow etc.