Michael Ayers Trotti’s The End of Public Execution: Race, Religion, and Punishment in the American South opens with a short transcription of a newspaper article about an Atlanta hanging. The report is about the 1891 execution of Frank Danforth, a Black man who had been convicted of the murder of his wife. The report mentions preachers saying prayers and singing, Danforth swaying to religious music, his repeated testimony to his belief in his own salvation, and white women who stood on a jailhouse fence to watch his execution. Trotti observes that the report describes Danforth’s execution as private because it was done behind jailhouse walls, even though hundreds of people were in attendance.
Janell Ross is the senior correspondent on race and identities for TIME.
As the final bars of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” filled the room, former President Donald Trump took the stage in Windham, N.H. The audience, many of them white New Englanders and veterans, chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A” had to settle a bit before Trump could launch into a winding, military-themed speech at the August 8 campaign rally.