EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE UNVEILS HISTORICAL MARKER IN TUSCALOOSA

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By WVUA 23 Web Writer Kat Nein

A historical marker was unveiled on March 6 on 2803 Sixth Street right in front of the old Tuscaloosa jail. This marker remembers the eight African-American men who were lynched in Tuscaloosa County between 1884 and 1933. These incidents were committed by a white lynching mob trying to enforce segregation.

This marker is the first historical marker memorializing the men. The crowd first started where the marker was unveiled and then moved just blocks way to the First African Baptist church.

“We’ve been silent for too long in this state and in this country about some terrible things that happened and there were injuries created by violence and terror and we’re not going to help those injuries heal if we ignore them,” Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson said.

The EJI said these men are just eight out of the 360 lynchings that happened in Alabama until 1933. The marker bears the names of Bud Wilson, Charles McKelton, Andy Burke, John Johnson, Sidney Johnson, John Durrett and Dennis Cross.

“We’re committed putting up these markers at lynching sites because we want communities to hear the truth,” Stevenson said.

Monday’s ceremony was packed with people from all over Tuscaloosa County. This was the sixth marker that the EJI have unveiled. Their next stop is in Georgia March 18. EJI is also opening a national memorial and museum in Montgomery honoring the 4,000 lynching victims.

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