“Without Sanctuary” is an exhibit which features graphic photos of lynching victims in American taken from a collection owned by white antiques dealer, James Allen.   Mr..  Allen searched for photographs and postcards for the last 25 years and published the book “ Without Sanctuary” by Twin Palms Publishers. 

James Allen said “Without Sanctuary is a photo document of proof, an unearthing of crimes, of collective mass murder, of mass memory graves excavated from the American conscience.  Part postal cards, common as dirt, souvenirs skin-thin and fresh tattooed proud, the trade cards of those assisting at ritual racial killings and other acts of mad citizenry.  The communities’ best citizens lurking just outside the frame.  Destined to decay, these few survivors of an original photo population of many thousands, turn the living in to pillars of salt.”

The exhibit debuted in New York over two years ago. When  it premiered in Atlanta in May it was the first viewing of the exhibit in the South.

Several ceremonies and events

took place to coincide with the exhibit’s opening. A memorial service for the more than 5,000 victims of lynchings was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church. A dance troupe performed an African mourning dance on the King Plaza.

Those who attended the opening ceremony included Coretta Scott King, NAACP chairman Julian Bond’s mother, Julia Bond, and a granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, Margaret Washington Clifford.

The photos have reportedly moved many people to tears. The exhibition is at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site through the end of the year. You can also see pictures at  Please be aware that much of the material is very disturbing.

Raymond Holt, who viewed the website said, “It strikes me as I view these photos and read these dates that this was not a very long time ago. My God some occurred in the 1960’s. Yet it seems such a foreign thing in this new millennium that these horrific acts could have been carried out.

It makes me wonder how our generation will be viewed upon in the future. What horrific acts of racism are we currently partaking in?”

Charles, who also viewed the website said, “It’s so funny how blacks looking at these old photos get so shocked, they ask how could ol whitie do something like this? They never look at what they as a race do to each other. One example: Rwanda just a few years ago, in a 100 day time period over 800,000 Tutsis were mass murdered by fellow Africans, not whites. These people were beat to death by clubs, hacked to death , bodies torn apart etc.  Far worse than anything in these old photos.  This is only one example, there are countless other examples of how horrible of mass murder blacks as a race do to each other. My kids in school during black history month are taught how great these Africans are , all the these proud Africans, oh don’t forget about slavery in Sudan today, another proud African country.  The list goes on and on.”

Sources: and

Printed in Volume 1 Issue 11