Political Cartoons By John Mitchell Jr.

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“Is This a Sample of States’ Rights?” political cartoon The “Is This a Sample of States’ Rights?” is an aggressive political cartoon published by John Mitchell Jr. of the Richmond Planet on April 24th, 1937. The cartoon depicts an African American Woman being lynched by a rope, for no given reason and likely no logical reason. In the background a ‘Federal Anti-Lynching Bill’ is idly watching the woman hang and the local authorities are off to the side, looking away and not paying attention . Under John Mitchell Jr.’s leadership the Richmond Planet gained a reputation and prestige in the south. Lynchings were detested and lynchers were brought to moral standards. Mitchell would report any lynching in the country. Tallies and lists of the dead were published alongside their accused crimes. Graphic images were always published and never censored. Mitchell believed that the public needed to vividly experience the horrors of slavery if there was to be social change. The Richmond Planet published and reported on every lynching that occurred in the south, specifically Richmond. The Richmond Planet was founded by thirteen former slaves in a building on the corner of Third and Broad street. It was the first African American newspaper to be started in the United States. The Richmond Planet advocated for the end of Jim Crow and publicly exposed injustice. The Richmond Planet took its first aggressive stance against the termination of African American School Principals. The

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