The ritual of soil collection is an integral part of our work of remembering and lamenting the great horrors of racial violence committed throughout our land and in this very county.
Lives were viciously taken without due process or legal consideration of any kind. It was a form of racial violence calculated to discount and trivialize persons of color even to the extent of desecrating the remains of the victims and denying to kin and friend the decency of burial and sacred remembrance. These victims' lives were snatched from public memory as if they never lived.
So these soil collections are our corporate rites in an attempt to restore that dignity long ago denied. Here today we are honoring those whose lives so viciously taken. And we beseech God to grant us his blessing and his healing spirit to work to begin to heal the deep wounds of these horrendous wrongs.
God never forgot these dear ones. By his grace neither shall we.
Fred C. Morton