Randall Mullins and Sharon Pavelda, founding members of The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, were honored to attend the swearing-in ceremony today of the first female County Public defender, our very own Phyllis Aluko. She also made history as the first African American in the office here in Shelby County!
Since early 2016 I have attempted to encourage a spirit of leadership in the Lynching Sites Project modeled after high-flying geese, but I have never taken the time to spell that out fully. I want to do that here with some examples from the LSP story.
There are 6 character traits of high-flying geese which offer profound teaching about leadership, communion with one another, and flying well as an organization:
1. Keeping Company with the Fallen
The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis enthusiastically supports the removal of the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis. Our deep thanks goes out to TakeEmDown901, the Mayor, city legal team, the City Council and many others. Our mission is to locate and memorialize all the sites of lynchings that took place in Shelby County.
On May 22, 1917, at the Old Wolf River bridge, a black man was doused with gasoline and thrown alive into a bonfire. Five thousand people watched. The crowd was unusually large because of an announcement of the place and time in the Memphis press and the fact that a number of county schools had been let out early so students could attend.