Historical marker at Southeast Corner of Mississippi Blvd. and Walker, erected by Tennessee Historical Commission 4E 106. As far as we know, this is the only marker commemorating a lynching in Shelby County.
Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Will Stewart, all African-Americans and co-owners of People's Grocery (located at this site), were arrested in connection with a disturbance near their store. Rather than being brought to trial, they were lynched on March 9, 1892. Moss' dying words were, "Tell my people to go west--there is no justice for them here." This lynching prompted Ida B. Wells, editor of Memphis Free Speech, to begin her anti-lynching campaign in this country and abroad.
Further information from Linda Wynn of the Tennessee Historical Commission:
The People's Grocery Marker was placed on June 5, 1991. Ms. Dawnelle Hurd, a sociologist is the person who initiated the marker in January of 1990. The marker was deferred by the commission at its February 16, 1990 meeting. It was subsequently resubmitted by the sponsor and approved by the commission at its February 27, 1991 meeting. The dedicatory ceremony was covered by the press and yes, as far as I know, the public was invited. The Tri-State defender carried an article about the marker's unveiling. An article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal on March 7, 1991 made mention of the People's Grocery marker, along with other placed in Memphis during the same time period. There is a photo in the file of the dedicatory ceremony. I do not know if descendants of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and John Steward were in attendance. The person with whom the commission was in contact was Dawnelle Hurd. It is my hope that this answered all of your questions.