UNDERSTANDING THE PAST HELPS OUR CITY BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS TO OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL.
THE JACKSONVILLE COMMUNITY REMEMBRANCE PROJECT WILL HELP REMEMBER OUR PAST TO BETTER OUR FUTURE.
A crucial component of reducing barriers to opportunity is a better understanding of our community’s history, even — or perhaps especially — when it is harrowing. That is why 904ward is partnering with the Equal Justice Initiative on the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project to remember the legacy of racial terror lynchings in our city. With a stronger understanding of the legacy of racial terror lynchings on our community, we believe Jacksonville will be better equipped to understand and reduce barriers to opportunity for all citizens.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Jacksonville's racial terror lynchings were part of an epidemic of lynchings that took place across 20 states between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950. The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) conducted research identifying more than 4,400 African-American men, women, and children who were killed in racial terror lynchings in its report Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror. This effort informed the creation of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, as well as historical markers in local communities where racial terror lynchings took place. These lynchings were not about the guilt or innocence of the person murdered. They were a tool of racial control, intended to instill fear in black communities and suppress their civil rights.
As EJI writes, “A history of racial injustice must be acknowledged, and mass atrocities and abuse must be recognized and remembered, before a society can recover from mass violence. Public commemoration plays a significant role in prompting community-wide reconciliation.”
NEXT STEPS FOR JACKSONVILLE
Duval County has seven documented lynchings; the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project is working to add detail and additional information to what is currently known about them, in addition to looking at some additional cases and identifying living descendants of the victims. When this all-volunteer effort is complete, it will result in published research about the documented cases, the establishment and unveiling of a historical marker, community-wide and youth education programming, and a scholarship essay contest for youth.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
If you want to volunteer to assist in the project, or or if you believe you may be a descendant of lynching victims, please contact us at JaxCRP@gmail.com.
October 10, 2019 - Arbus: A Horrific History
September 6, 2019 - The Florida Times-Union: After 100 years, 2 Jacksonville lynchings being commemorated
August 23, 2019 - First Coast News: MOSH exhibition seeks to educate First Coast about racial terror lynchings in Duval County
August 23, 2019 - EU Jacksonville: Legacy of Lynchings exhibit at MOSH unlocks Jacksonville’s hidden racial history
August 22, 2019 - WJCT: MOSH Exhibit On America's History Of Lynching Opens Saturday
June 7, 2019 - The Florida Times-Union: Lynching research volunteers preparing for MOSH exhibit
December 31, 2018 - The Florida Times-Union: Volunteers examine Jacksonville's history of lynchings