Community Historical Marker Project
EJI is joining with communities to install narrative historical markers at the sites of racial terror lynchings.
The public narrative a nation creates about what is important is reflected in memorials and monuments. Who is honored, what is remembered, what is memorialized tells a story about a society that can’t be reflected in other ways.
–Bryan Stevenson, EJI Executive Director
As of February 2020, EJI has sponsored historical markers in communities across the country.
Located near Brighton City Hall, the marker memorializes the 1908 lynching of William Miller. Mr. Miller was an African American coal miner who was seeking better wages for Black workers and was murdered by a white mob.
The marker, located at Rehobeth Missionary Church, memorializes the lynchings of seven victims in this small community between 1900 and 1917. After speaking out against the lynching of a Black man in the community, Jim Cross, his wife, and their two children were lynched. Almost two decades later, William and his brother, Samuel or Jesse Powell, were also lynched.
Abbeville, South Carolina
In the town square, the marker tells the story of Anthony Crawford who was lynched in 1916 after arguing with a white merchant over the price of cottonseed. Hundreds of Crawford family members attended the marker ceremony years after the family was exiled from the community.
In February 1906, a large white mob abducted Bunk Richardson from the Etowah County Jail in Gadsden and lynched him. Community members came together to dedicate a historical marker in his memory.
The marker located at Warren Temple United Methodist Church memorializes the lynching of Austin Callaway who was seized from the LaGrange jail by a mob and left to die on a rural road.
The marker located in front of the Old Tuscaloosa Jail memorializes eight African American men lynched in the county between 1884 and 1933.
The marker memorializes the 1894 triple lynching of a Black woman and two Black men who were seized from a small jail outside of Austin by a mob.
The marker located at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge memorializes three of 19 African American men lynched in Dallas County.
In September 1935, Elwood Higginbottom was abducted from the local jail and lynched by a white mob of at least 50 men. Located at the corner of North Lamar Boulevard and Molly Barr Road in Oxford, a historical marker memorializes the site where Mr. Higgenbottom was lynched.
At Triumph Church in Center, Texas, a historical marker documents the lynching of Lige Daniels, a 16-year old Black man lynched by a white mob of at least 1,000 people.Family members of Mr. Daniels were present at the ceremony which included performances and speeches from the community.
Kansas City, Missouri
The marker tells the story of Mr. Levi Harrington who was lynched in 1882 by a white mob of several hundred, despite news reports that he was innocent.The Mayor of Kansas City dedicated December 1, 2018, as Levi Harrington Remembrance Day.
Located in downtown Nashville, the marker recognizes the racial terror lynching of four men lynched. Brothers Henry and Ephraim Grizzard were killed by white residents of Davidson and Sumner counties in April 1892. David Jones and Jo Reed, victims of pre-1877 racial terror lynchings, were both kidnapped from the local jail and lynched by a white mob.
Charlottesville residents memorialized the 1898 lynching of John Henry James who was falsely accused of assaulting a white woman and lynched by a mob at least 150 armed white men. Pieces of his clothing and body were kept as souvenirs, but no one was ever charged or held accountable for his murder.
On Calvert Street at Whitmore Park, a marker commemorates five African Americans killed in Anne Arundel County.
Fort Deposit, Alabama
The marker details the history of racial terror lynching, and specifically memorializes the lynchings of Mr. Ed Bracy, Mr. Jim Press Meriweather, and Rev. G. Smith Watkins, three Black sharecroppers and union leaders lynched in Lowndes County in 1935.
At Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, the marker recognizes two Black coal miners lynched in Jefferson County for challenging unjust and dangerous employment conditions. Tom Redmond, lynched in 1890, and Jake McKenzie, lynched in 1897, were killed by a white mob while heroically defending other Black men at the Brookside Mines, one of two former convict leasing sites in the county.
Three African American men, Horace Duncan, Fred Coker, and William Allen, were lynched at Park Central Square in 1906 by a white mob. Over 100 years later, the Springfield community gathered to heal, grieve, and concretize the memories of these three men.
Community Soil Collection Ceremonies
In addition to partnering with communities to install historical markers, EJI collaborates with community partners to facilitate community soil collection ceremonies, including:
Community members and advocates with the Ed Johnson Project gathered together to acknowledge four men, Edward Johnson, Albert Blount, Charles Williams, and Charles Brown, who were the victims of racial terror lynchings in the community.
Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Community members including Showing Up for Racial Justice and the Fenix Youth Project collected soil along Maryland’s Eastern Shore in remembrance of six victims of racial terror lynchings.
Community members in Coatesville, PA gathered for a soil collection ceremony to honor the life of Zachariah Walker, who was lynched in 1911.
Franklin County, Kentucky
EJI joined state and local officials and community members for a soil collection service on Sunday to commemorate the lynchings of Marshall Boston and John Maxey in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Newton County, Mississippi
Descendants of three victims of racial terror lynching in Newton County, Mississippi, joined with community members and EJI staff to collect soil from lynching sites.