On the surface, there appeared to be little common ground and little to celebrate.
A 16-year-old white girl, murdered while bicycling across a bridge on her way to school, and a black woodcutter who lived nearby burned alive for the crime. Two tragedies, no legal resolution to either.
And yet, not one but two gatherings Sunday afternoon found joy in loss, hope in injustice.
Descendants of both victims — the black man who was lynched and the white girl he was falsely accused of murdering — plan to be here for Sunday's prayer service.
The two women, one from Chicago, the other from Memphis, plan to go down to the river, rain or shine, to stand and pray with hundreds of others near the site of both brutal murders.
"We have to acknowledge and address the pain before we can begin to heal," said Laura Wilfong Miller. Her great-grandmother and Antonetty Rappel's mother were sisters.
Two markers will memorialize the tragic and shameful events that occurred here in the spring of 1917.
Both markers, approved Thursday by the Shelby County Historical Commission, will mention the two victims of those events.
Antoinette Rappel, a 15-year-old white girl who was brutally assaulted and murdered on her way to school April 30, 1917.
Ell Persons, a 50-something black woodcutter accused of the crime who was brutally assaulted and murdered by a lynch mob May 22 that year.