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After slavery was abolished, lynching was used as a tool by white Americans to retain racial control, especially in the South. While not all white Americans participated, many did and many more supported the acts. Lynching was used as a tool to create fear in African Americans and reinforce white supremacy. Public officials often did nothing to stop the killings. Between 1877 and 1905, more than 4,000 African Americans were lynched.\n\nIda B. Wells-Barnett was born as a slave in Mississippi. She was an early activist and writer. She worked to reveal the terrible crime of lynching in the United States. Her research and writing showed that many of the reasons given to justify lynching,