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The History of the Noose Essay

The origins of the noose, also known as the hangman’s knot, can be traced to both colonial America and England, and continues to be used today in some US states as well as other nations that still use hanging as a form of capital punishment. The uniqueness of the noose as compared to other forms of rope typing lies in its number of coils and the way it is done; most professionally done nooses have 6 to 8 coils, which can be adjusted depending on the purpose for which it is intended for. The notoriety of the noose however, lies not only in its use as a method of capital punishment.

It has also been associated as a racial hate symbol, so far being used in the United States against African-Americans. This is in reference to the various forms of extermination performed against African-Americans in the rural South in the past. To address such, the use of nooses for the intention of perpetrating a hate crime, or using nooses as a racial hate symbol, was made illegal under U. S. law. Recently, there have been cases where the hanging of nooses was done at American universities in what many see may be a resurgence of the symbol.

A widely known incident that recently happened was where six black teenagers got into a fight with six white teens over the hanging of nooses in the trees. The case was brought to court and is now known as the “Jena Six” affair. In totality, nooses can be said to be very significant to African-Americans, but not in a good sense. If anything, the noose represents a direct attack on their race, and the move to make it illegal was definitely a step in the right direction. Just as the noose gained its reputation with being a form of capital punishment, it too has become a racially charged symbol that continues to affect African-Americans today.

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