In spring 2019 many of us participated in a project to collect soil from the sites of the 36 lynchings of Black Americans in Fulton County. The lynchings were identified by the Equal Justice Initiative, an amazing organization based in Montgomery, that is working toward racial justice. The group, headed by Bryan Stevenson, is responsible for the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, known informally as the lynching memorial, in Montgomery.
Almost every Saturday in spring 2019 a group of us gathered at the site of a lynching in Fulton County to collect soil, tell the story of the person (or people) who had died, to pray, to sing, and to pledge to work for justice. Lucy Kaltenbach, Jeanne Taylor, and I were in charge of the first gathering, which remembered a man named Mack Henry Brown. Mr. Brown was a maintenance worker in an apartment building in Atlanta, who was accused of improper conduct by a white woman who lived there. That night a group of white men dragged him from his home, killed him, and threw his body into the Chattahoochee River. Days later he washed ashore at about the place where Roswell Road crosses the river.
No one knows exactly where Mr. Brown was killed or the exact spot where his body washed ashore, but National Park Rangers helped Lucy and me find an appropriate spot in the area to hold the service and soil collection, which many of you attended.
In today’s AJC there is a story that the Roswell City Council has approved erecting an historical marker at that site telling the story of Mr. Brown’s lynching. Below is a link to it. It is so important that these people and their stories not be forgotten, and that this part of our sordid history as a nation not be erased. I hope when the marker is erected and unveiled we will be able to go and see it.
Last week I let you know about the publication of Kristine Anderson’s new novel, Crooked Truth. Kristine is having a virtual launch via Zoom on September 14 at 7 p.m. and a Zoom book talk hosted by Foxtale Books on September 24. You can get the details on her website, www.kristinefanderson.com.
Many thanks to all of you who helped provide lunch for Church of the Common Ground last Sunday. We did a such a good job that their priest, Kim Jackson, has asked if we can do it again on September 27. She apologizes for asking us to do two Sundays so close together, but some of the usual contributors have stopped during the pandemic. Here is a link to sign up to help:www.PerfectPotluck.com/VLGH1822
And if you are going grocery shopping and picking up items for the food pantry here are some things which are in high demand: canned fruits and vegetables, spaghetti sauce and pasta, oatmeal packets, rice, beans, and peanut butter.
See you tonight at 8 for Compline.