SATURDAY: Vigil in Arlington to Honor Victim of 1939 Lynching
ARLINGTON, Tenn. - Alumni of Arlington High School, in partnership with the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, will host a public prayer service and candlelight vigil to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the lynching of Jesse Lee Bond on Saturday, April 28, 2018 in Depot Square at 7:30pm.
On April 28, 1939, African American farmer Jesse Lee Bond was lynched in front of the S.Y. Wilson store after asking the white store owners for a receipt for his purchase. At the time, the store owners kept a private ledger of purchases to track the debt of local farmers who relied on credit for the majority of their purchases until they could settle their debts after the harvest season. As punishment for the color of his skin, in addition to disrupting a system that kept farmers of all races in debt, Jesse Lee Bond was shot to death, castrated, and staked in the Loosahatchie River. His murderers were tried and acquitted by an all white journey, his grave remains unmarked, and county records still cite his death as an “accidental drowning”.
Jesse Lee Bond’s murder still remains a widely unknown piece of Arlington’s history. Through dialogue and action, the vigil’s organizers hope to begin to reconcile this injustice of the past and confront its impact on the broader community today by starting the difficult conversations that will lead to collaborative community building solutions for years to come.
The service has been organized by alumni from Arlington High School and the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis and is free and open to the public. There will be more information on how to get involved with ongoing memorial efforts and community conversations on site. Please RSVP to the FB event to receive event updates.
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