Executions aren’t just about innocence or guilt.
“As might have been expected, the white people concluded it was unnecessary to wait [for] the result of the investigation – that it was preferable to hang the accused first and try him afterward.” (The Red Record, 1895)
If you can’t trust the authorities, defend yourself.
“The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense … A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every [B]lack home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.” (Southern Horrors, 1892)
Never give up fighting.
“One had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap. I had already determined to sell my life as dearly as possible if attacked.” (The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells)
It’s a systemic problem, not an individual issue.
“So bold have the lynchers become masks are laid aside, the temples of justice and strongholds of law are invaded in broad daylight and prisoners taken out and lynched, while governors of states and officers of law stand by and see the work well done.” (Southern Horrors, 1892)