Vigil held to remember victims of Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906
It’s been 117 years since the incident known as the Atlanta Race Massacre, and activists are gathering Monday to ensure that dark chapter of American history and the victims are not forgotten.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Many Atlantans will be remembering and learning from a dark day in our state’s history on Monday.
In September 1906, an angry lynch mob descended on downtown Atlanta, attacking and killing more than two dozen black Atlantans inside their homes and businesses.
This incident has become known as the Atlanta Race Massacre.
It’s been 117 years, and Atlanta activists are ensuring that dark chapter of American history is not forgotten. They gathered for a vigil on Monday to read the names of the 25 people killed by that angry mob and reflect on what happened. Two victims were newly identified. Their names are Marshall Carter and Stinson Ferguson.
Scholar Dr. Clarissa Myrick-Harris of Morehouse College says 1906 was an election year, so two candidates for governor were pushing unsubstantiated headlines about Black men assaulting white women in their newspapers.
“They had the white community whipped into a frenzy. So, on September 22, 1906, it exploded,” Myrick-Harris explained. “To destroy Black property and kill Black people, so, the rampage lasted over a course of four days.”
Monday’s vigil was held at the Henry Grady statue on Marietta Street, which is where scholars say bodies were stacked during the massacre.
With the two new names being added, activists say this represents a huge milestone in the effort to uncover the truth about those fateful four days 117 years ago. Faith leaders are calling on all to reflect on what happened in order to create a bright future.
“It is through acknowledging the past, that we move forward with truth and power into our future,” said Pastor Charles Hamilton, New Morning Light Baptist Church.
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