The Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906

The Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906 is largely unknown today, even though it is a defining moment in Atlanta’s history and our nation’s history of racial terror targeting African Americans.

Between Reconstruction and the 1950s, more than 5,000 African Americans were lynched across America. In Georgia, there were more than 50 documented lynchings between 1877 and 1950. Half of these deaths occurred in Atlanta in September 1906. Leading up to September 22, Atlanta newspapers ran sensationalized and unproven articles about Black men assaulting white women amid resentment toward African Americans enjoying greater access to voting rights and economic opportunities. A mob of 5,000 white men attacked Black men and women, murdering 25 people in stores, on trolley cars, in the streets, and in their homes. No one was ever convicted for the killings. To learn more about the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, click here.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights recently partnered with Coalition to Remember the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre to mark the 115th anniversary of the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, with seven days of events and programs Friday, September 17 to Sunday, September 26, 2021. The commemoration, called the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre – Days of Remembrance, recognized the four days of violence (9/22-25) perpetrated by white mobs who killed at least 25 Black men and women.

The Initiative

Beginning in 2022, the Truth and Transformation Initiative – a coalition of partners — will explore the history of racial terror lynchings with a focus on the 1906 Race Massacre.

The Initiative includes:

  • Researching stories and events of victims, perpetrators and gathering descendants for public activities with the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University
  • Creating public programs and events in support of grassroots advocates from the Fulton County Remembrance Coalition (and other counties) working to claim memorial pillars with the inscribed names of documented lynching victims, created by Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Remembrance Project.
  • Holding 500 community dinners across Atlanta in September 2022, organized by Equitable Dinners. These dinners will engage 5,000 people in discussing the history of racial terror and violence and its legacy in our lives today.

To get involved, join our mailing list.