Nat Turner’s skull has been found, and with it comes a series of articles about the history of human body part smuggling and preservation. It’s all a bit gruesome, but particularly when you consider this fact:
Amrita Myers, Associate Professor of History at Indiana University, said the story of Turner’s skull is peculiar because there isn’t historical precedent of African-American body parts being passed down during slavery.
“Black men and women being used in that fashion was a very common phenomenon after the (Civil) War during the rise of lynching, but I’ve been a slavery scholar for the better part of two decades, and I’ve never heard of black men and women body parts under slavery being used for sale or for relics,” Myers said.
The implication being that the keeping of black body parts as trophies has emerged since Reconstruction. Says a lot about the post-bellum society.
Source: Skull thought to be Nat Turner’s, now in possession of former Gary mayor, to be returned to descendants – Post-Tribune