- Associated Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Nearly three dozen people have left Minnesota on a long bus ride to Alabama to attend the opening day of a new national memorial highlighting the history of lynching in the United States.

The Duluth group is attending the Thursday opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, Minnesota Public Radio reported .

The memorial features all the lynching cases the Equal Justice Initiative could document in recent years. The group has identified more than 4,000 African-Americans killed by mobs based on often incorrect or after-the-fact accusations of crimes against white people. Lynchings were found in more than 800 counties. St. Louis County is the only Minnesota county to have a documented lynching.

“It’s going to be emotional, without a doubt. We’re looking into lives that were lost, cut short,” said Carl Crawford, Duluth’s human rights officer. “People that could’ve really made a difference in this world - we’ll never know. All because of race and gender.”

The new memorial includes 6-foot pillars meant to replicate the way victims were hanged. All of the pillars have duplicates, which communities are welcome to bring back to display in their area.

Duluth city leaders expect to bring the city’s pillar home, though the area already has a lynching memorial dedicated in October 2003.

The group of Minnesota residents began the journey by visiting the city’s memorial for three victims of lynching. Minnesota passed an anti-lynching law almost a year after the 1920 hangings of circus workers Elmer Jackson, Isaac McGhie and Elias Clayton.

Crawford believes connecting the national memorial to the Duluth memorial will give those on the trip a “bigger sense of being part of something larger than Duluth.”


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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