Movie Review: Lynching Postcards: Token of a Great Day (2021)

Synopsis: Between 1880 and 1968, roughly 4000 Black Americans were lynched by white mobs. Many of these lynchings were commemorated through the use of photography and souvenir postcards. This documentary discusses the practice and how it was eventually used against the white supremacists. 

Who's in it? The movie uses the voices of Darian DauchanBiko Eisen-MartinJimmie Jeter, and Kara Young.


Review: I was looking for a way to kill some time while my family was still in bed this morning and after scrolling through some movies on Paramount Plus, came across this documentary. I ended up selecting it because of its short (15 minute) runtime and am glad I did.

I've always found history interesting and enjoy movies and books that teach me something I didn't know about the past. This was definitely one of them and I found I both found it interesting and angering. I knew lynchings were a major problem in this country prior to the 1970s but never knew just how flagrant those who committed them were until seeing the various commemorative photographs. 

I think the thing I found most intriguing and sickening is how nobody even bothered to hide their identities in the photographs because they knew there was no chance of them ever being prosecuted for murder. In other words, it was just a bunch of random racists running around in white robes, the cards showed it was a systematic problem involving government officials looking the other way.

Another thing I found interesting about this documentary was how the postcards were ultimately used against those who created them, starting an anti-lynching campaign that used the terrible imagery in the postcards to change the national attitudes. It's one of those stories they leave out of high school history classes that maybe should be included.

Final Opinion: It's a short documentary that covers an intriguing topic in some depth. If you have 15 minutes, it's worth watching. 

My Grade: A

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