The Tragic, Forgotten History of Black Military Veterans

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FORT CARSON, CO - JUNE 15: A soldier salutes the flag during a welcome home ceremony for troops arriving from Afghanistan on June 15, 2011 to Fort Carson, Colorado. More than 500 soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team returned home following a year of heavy fighting and high casualties in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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FORT CARSON, CO - JUNE 15:  A soldier salutes the flag during a welcome home ceremony for troops arriving from Afghanistan on June 15, 2011 to Fort Carson, Colorado. More than 500 soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team returned home following a year of heavy fighting and high casualties in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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In the week after the election, the Equal Justice Initiative, of Montgomery, Alabama, released a new report—a fifty-three-page addendum to last year’s “Lynching in America,” an unprecedentedly thorough survey of American racial violence and terror between 1877 and 1950.

Drawing on small-town newspaper and court archives, along with interviews of local historians and victims’ descendants across the South, “Lynching in America” tallied four thousand and seventy-five lynchings, at least eight hundred more than any previous count. The new report, “Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans,” concludes that, during the same period, “no one was more at risk of experiencing violence and targeted racial terror than black veterans.”

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