DBQ: Photographs

Unidentified photographer, "Unidentified Execution," numbers 3, 5, and 6 of 6. n.d. (Gonzales-Day, 2006, p. 74)
  1. What is happening in the sequence of photographs? How many people are in each photo?
  2. Explain how you know that these photographs document an actual event. How does the sequence give us clues regarding what is happening and contribute to its authenticity?
  3. Interpret the role of Anglo American men in the community as the executioners.  Discuss the role of race.
  4. Compare and contrast the three photos, and analyze the meaning of their differences and similarities.
  5. Evaluate how the composition of the images indicates the moral acceptability of vigilante justice.
  6. Imagine you are family of the victim. In light of Anglo American racial views of Latinos in in the western U.S.  Argue for the prosecution of the executioners.

Unidentified photographer, "Breaking down the Door," 1933. 
(Gonzales-Day, 2006, p. 109)
  1. Describe the photograph. What are the men doing?
  2. Indicate whether this a photograph documenting a real event. How do you know?
  3. Interpret the ensuing significance of breaking through a locked door to retrieve a prisoner.
  4. Analyze the young man with dark hair running away from the door. What are his obligations/responsibilities as a part of the mob?
  5. Assess role of established law enforcement in executing justice in a situation like this.
  6. Write proposal for a law that would provide consequences for the local law enforcement if a prisoner under their care is lynched.

Unidentified photographer, "The Stripped Body of Jack Holmes," 1933. 
(Gonzales-Day, 2006, p. 110)
  1. What has just happened in this image? Describe what you see.
  2. Identify what information indicates that this is an authentic image of a real event.
  3. Interpret the role that lynching plays in the perception of community safety in regard to racial stereotypes of Latinos during the mid-1800's to early-1900's.
  4. Distinguish the characteristics of both ceremonious and unceremonious executions. Elaborate on the meaning of stripping the clothes off the body of victim.
  5. Argue whether or not extralegal violence such as this is ever appropriate. Define and support your criteria for either side of the argument.
  6. Write a proposal for an anti-lynching law.

Edgar Wade Howell, "Lynching of Null, Stemler, Moreno, and Johson," 1895. 
(Gonzales-Day, 2006, p. 117)
  1. What has happened in the photograph? Describe the setting.
  2. Locate the clues that indicates whether this photograph represents an event that really happened.
  3. Interpret the significance of recording the lynching in both text and image.  For what purpose might one preserve these details?
  4. Analyze the legal actions that families of the victims can take in this environment and what potential consequences they might face for doing so.
  5. Evaluate the setting of the image and appraise its significance relative to cultural conceptions of justice.
  6. Write both a defense and a prosecution argument for the lynched victims.

Unidentified photographer, "...der Wild West Show," n.d. 
(Gonzales-Day, 2006, p. 120)
  1. What is happening in the photograph?
  2. Is this a real lynching? Explain why or why not?
  3. The text at the bottom of the image says, “der Wild West Show” (an entertainment show). Use your knowledge of entertainment during the late 1800's and early 1900’s to explain why a lynching would be included in a Wild West Show?
  4. Compare this image to an image of an image of an authentic lynching. Analyze the differences and explain how the social conception of lynching differed from a real lynching.
  5. Assess how contemporary uses of racial stereotypes and violence in entertainment are the same or different that what is portrayed in this photograph.
  6. Create the scene before this.  How will social conceptions of race play a role?

Unidentified photographer, "Hanged at the Water Street Bridge," 1877. 
(Gonzales-Day, 2006, p. 118)
  1. Describe the photograph. What is interesting about the shot?
  2. Select the elements of this photograph that indicate its authenticity.
  3. Interpret the meaning of the presence of young boys; examine implications for gender roles.
  4. Examine the motivations of the mob and the role of pursuing justice in their motivations.
  5. Evaluate the photographer’s moral perception of the lynching by assessing the carefully shot artistic compositional elements.
  6. Record the lynching as though you were one of the boys in the crowd.