Dedication to memorialize Shelby County lynchings

Executive Director from the Center of the Healing of Racism to speak at Saturday event

A memorial plaque dedication commemorating and memorializing Shelby County lynchings which took place nearly a century ago will be held at noon Saturday, Dec. 15, at Triumph Church, 908 Daniels St. in Center.

The marker will memorialize the courthouse lawn lynchings in Center of two African American men, organizers said. Lige Daniels, lynched on Aug. 3, 1920, and Buddy Evans lynched on May 21, 1928. The Equal Justice Initiative's Historical Marker installation and ceremony is dedicated to the victims of lynchings in Shelby County, according to Delbert Jackson.

“Cherry Steinwender is the Executive Director from the Center of the Healing of Racism who will be attending our Community Remembrance Program and delivering a keynote address,” Jackson said.

The Center of the Healing of Racism is based in Houston and is dedicated to the healing of racism through education and empowerment. For more information, visit www.centerhealingracism.org/

Following the plaque dedication at will be the community remembrance program at 1 p.m., when winners of an essay contest will be announced by the Equal Justice Initiative. Shelby County high school students had been invited to submit entries and will be awarded scholarships, according to Delbert Jackson, a local organizer of the events.

Jackson said a memorial for lynchings that occurred in Center is both for purposes of educating the public of their historical significance and to serve as a remembrance of Lige Daniels and other lynching victims.

He said Shepherd Mary Jean Cartwright and Bishop Howard Cloudy of Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, 3rd District, will host the Community Remembrance Program.

“Shelby County community leaders and members of the Equal Justice Initiative will be in attendance for a day of reflection including truth and reconciliation,
 Jackson said.

The scholarship essay contest was open to students grades 9-12 attending high school in Shelby County. Jackson said scholarship prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded.

Jackson said he expects some special guests to be in attendance.

Several members of the Equal Justice Initiative will be in attendance that day and we hope that everyone will be in attendance for a day of reflection including truth and reconciliation,” Jackson said.

The history of racial inequality and economic injustice in America has created continuing challenges for all Americans, Jackson said.

The Equal Justice Initiative has documented more than 468 lynchings of African Americans in Texas between 1877 and 1950, including those in Shelby County. Jackson said a deeper understanding about the nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing contemporary questions of social justice and equality.

For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/LigeDaniels/.

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