Racial Terror: The 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre

Uncovering Hidden History

September 2023: Commemorating the 117th anniversary of the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre

Visit our event page to see how you can join.


Between Reconstruction and the 1950s, there were more than 5,000 documented lynchings in the United States. According to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), lynching of African Americans was a deliberate and “widely supported campaign to enforce racial subordination and segregation.” 

Georgia was the site of roughly 500 documented lynchings between 1877 and 1950; twenty-five of these murders happened during a four-day eruption of violence in Atlanta, in September 1906. A mob of roughly 5,000 white men descended on several neighborhoods and waged an unprovoked massacre of black men and women. Black people were murdered in shops, on trolley cars, in the streets, and in their homes. In the days that followed, the city minimized the tragedy, seeking to move on. Just days after the massacre, a headline in The Atlanta Journal proclaimed: “Atlanta is Herself Again; Business Activity Restored and the Riot is Forgotten.”    

The Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906 is largely unknown today, even though it is a defining moment in Atlanta’s history and the nation’s history of racial terror that has come to awareness through EJI’s museum and memorial and other efforts. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, partners with the local coalitions that include the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University, Emblematic Group, and Equitable Dinners to generate a series of activities to expand the reach of grassroots initiatives and amplify the conversation about history’s connection to current inequity. 


To get involved, join our mailing list.