by Meghna Chakrabarti and Dorey Scheimer
October 23, 2019
Click here to listen to LSP Executive Director, John Ashworh along with Rep. James Clyburn, NYT columnist Charles Blow, and award-winning author Isabel Wilkerson talk about President Trump likening the impeachment inquiry to a lynching, and the political weaponisation of one of the darkest parts of American history.
On Saturday, October 19, 2019, the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis dedicated two markers to African American victims lynched in Shelby County, Tennessee. One was killed in 1851 and the other in 1869. I have long contended that there is a straight line between the events of yesteryear and the way African Americans are treated and perceived by very powerful and influential voices today.
The name of the 1851 victim is unknown, but for purposes of this article, I refer to him as George. The 1869 victim was Wash Henley.
One hundred and twenty five years ago, on the night of July 22, 1893, law and order broke down in Memphis. A mob of several thousand attacked the jail; meeting almost no resistance from officers, they seized Lee Walker, a young African American man. The mob dragged Walker from his cell, beating him, stabbing him, and stripping him of his clothing. They took Walker north on Front Street to an alley between Sycamore and Mill Streets, where they hanged him from a telegraph pole. Once Walker was dead, many spectators left, but some mob members cut the body down, burned it, and mutilated it
“Charlie Morris and Tom Carlson, Companions in Truth” by John Ashworth, Executive Director, Lynching Sites Project of Memphis
I am often emotionally pulled in many directions as I do the work of remembrance of the victims of our nation’s tortured domestic terrorism campaign from the end of the Civil War until about 1960. Along the way, all the people I work with in this effort leave a lasting impression that gets buried in my subconscious. Until that memory gets jarred in some significant way that memory remains among all the rest without much thought.
By Vanessa Gregory
The April 29th issue of the New York Times has an excellent article by Vanessa Gregory, a writer based in Oxford, Mississippi. The article, "A Lynching's Long Shadow" is about the important story of Elwood Higginbotham; a story from our area that had national implication in the larger tragedy of lynching.
On Thursday, April 26, 2018, The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Alabama. It was the vision of Attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). The grand opening was attended by thousands from all over the United States and several foreign countries. The Legacy Museum is the culmination of years of research into America’s history of racial inequality and continued exploitation of Africans brought here in chains against their will.