On Monday, March 21, 2022, around 20 students from Valor Christian School in Colorado made a return trip to Memphis to visit LSP's Ell Person's lynching site. This trip was part of their Spring Work Visit project. Good Shepherd United Methodist Church graciously hosted the group prior to the site visit, and LSP Board member John D Ashworth provided a spellbinding explication of the generational impact of slavery and racial violence on persons of color. LSP member Kelsey Lampkin gave a brief reprise of the incident and its impact on Memphis a century ago.
On the occasion of his final presentation as executive director of LSP Memphis, I wanted to add my voice to the continuing chorus of accolades for his outstanding service to this deeply important work. I can think of no one who stands higher in my humble regard than John Ashworth. He brings to this work a zeal and seriousness that does not allow one to ignore the truth to which he bears relentless witness. He is an ever flowing fountain of inspiration and stimulation. He never speaks without divulging pertinent and timeless truth.
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.
by David Waters, Commercial Appeal
When the Rev. Fred Morton began his ministry in Whitehaven, in the midst of the racial tensions of early 1968, he thought he was ready for the challenge.