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A spirit that is not afraid

Lee County Remembrance Project honors Black history

<p>Members of the Lee County Remembrance Project and the NAACP hold an inaugural Day of Remembrance on Nov. 5 at the Lee County Courthouse to honor and recognize victims of racial terror lynchings.</p>

Members of the Lee County Remembrance Project and the NAACP hold an inaugural Day of Remembrance on Nov. 5 at the Lee County Courthouse to honor and recognize victims of racial terror lynchings.

The Lee County Remembrance Project’s mission is to honor, remember, and advocate for black men involved in lynchings in Lee County.

“What we want people to understand is it happened and we should reflect on what has happened in our
past,” said Ashley Brown, co-founder, and co-executive director of the LCRP.

Brown started the project in collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative, an initiative that aims to raise awareness and heal racial terror in Lee County

Last November, the group hosted the Lee County Day of Remembrance in order to bring awareness and honor those who went through racial terror lynchings. Black poets, singers, and artists were all featured that day, as well as the winners of their essay contest. 

Nov. 5 will be recognized as the Day of Remembrance in Lee County from now on.

“That’s part of how we try to commemorate these men to continue to tell these stories, so they don’t get lost to history,” said Joe Davis, director of mission and outreach with Auburn United Methodist Church and
co-executive director of the LCRP.

Other events have included a K12 essay contest, soil collection ceremonies in areas where men were lynched, and the creation of an exhibit in front of the courthouse in downtown Opelika.

“Now there’s a historical marker right in front of the Lee County Courthouse in downtown Opelika that tells the story of four victims of racial terror lynchings,” Davis said.

These men were John Moss, George Hart, Charles Humphries, and Samuel Harris. 

The exhibit shares their stories and commemorates their lives.

Brown said in the future, the LCRP hopes to increase its presence and improve on its current projects and initiatives.

The group is hoping to solidify its 501c3 tax status in order to create more opportunities for outreach.

“We’re hoping to partner with more organizations in the Lee County area and perhaps beyond,” Brown said. 

The LCRP’s mission can be found throughout Auburn’s campus as well. 

Students can take classes in racial studies that partner with the LCRP as well as attend various events aimed at raising awareness.

“That’s a way for people to understand more about [our] work, more about injustices...if we’re able to provide the historical education of it, then maybe moving forward, we can find ways to minimize injustices occurring within school systems,” Brown said.

By shedding light on what happened in Lee County, the LCRP hopes to impact students as a whole, even beyond the Auburn campus.

“It’s important [that] as students are here [at Auburn] that they learn about this community, and wherever they go next...they go back and think well, ‘what happened in my county, my city’ because this is certainly not just an Alabama issue or a local issue, it happened all around the country,” Davis said.

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Diane Pham | News Writer

Diane Pham, freshman in industrial engineering, is a news writer at The Plainsman.

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