What Are the Willie Lynch Papers?


Quick Answer

The "Willie Lynch papers" refer to a speech on controlling slaves, purportedly given by Willie Lynch on the banks of Virginia's James River in 1712. While the text has been cited by black activists, it is almost certainly a fake.

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Full Answer

In the speech, Lynch describes an outline of harsh slave treatment that he believes is useful in breaking their spirits and ensuring the next generation is taught to be submissive. The speech has been in existence since at least 1970, and it was first posted online in 1993. Louis Farrakhan quoted from it in a 1995 speech, and it has been cited with some frequency by others.

Historians, however, dismiss this speech as false. There are numerous anachronisms, including words that did not come into use for decades or even centuries after the supposed date of the speech. Additionally, there is no evidence of an original source.

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