Article Title



A single word can bring forth a plethora of emotions. Such a word, lynching, appeared repeatedly in the news recently; its use offended many in the African American community and others. The purpose of this article was: to explore the history and current meaning of the word lynching; to determine why the concept should be examined at this point in time; to examine the meaning of lynching specifically to African Americans; and to create a discussion so that health care providers may reflect upon and understand the concept it calls forward to the African American community and others. In order to provide cultural care to clients, the health care provider is called upon to understand the culture of the client. Cultural understanding begins with knowledge of many aspects of culture including the impact of history and of such words as lynching. A concept analysis lynching was completed in order to enlighten and to cause reflection on the emotions evoked by the word and its implications. A definition of lynching derived for this purpose from the concept analysis was: A definition of lynching for the purpose of understanding derived from the definitions and specific to this need was: Lynching is an extreme violent or covert mob action based on presumed guilt, hate and supremacy without legal sanction aimed at physical and nonphysical punishment through cruelty, terror, torturing and/or execution during unsettled times aimed at a cultural group denied identity and justice, often ignored, intimidated, and humiliated.



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