The cover page for A Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynchings in the United States, 1892-1893-1894 by Ida B. Wells.
In A Red Record, Ida B. Wells exposed the practice of lynching as a tactic designed to maintain white supremacy and limit African American opportunities for economic, social, and political power. Wells addressed and dismantled white southerners’ typical justifications for lynching, which included the alleged threats of “race riots,” the chaos that would result from “Negro rule” should African Americans be allowed to exercise their fifteenth amendment right to vote, and black criminality, specifically the rape of white women. In A Red Record, Wells collected and published the newspaper accounts of hundreds of lynchings of African Americans across the southern states for the years 1892, 1893, and 1894 along with their alleged crimes. Wells expands on the raw statistics with accounts of specific incidents in which legal due process was denied, families and individuals were targeted arbitrarily, and innocent people were killed.