Tag: Jefferson County Memorial Project

Birmingham Schools Discuss Plans to Reopen Aug. 24

The Birmingham Board of Education has formed a plan for students to start the new school year, but many questions remain about how learning will look.

The interim superintendent of Birmingham City Schools, Dr. Mark Sullivan, said in a press conference Friday that BCS is in the process of figuring out how to start school while keeping students, parents and teachers healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, school officials are looking at four options. Read more.

Jefferson County Memorial Project Efforts Continue Into the Next Decade

The Jefferson County Memorial Project, a grassroots, citizen-led organization that focuses on uncovering and reconciling racial terror and racial violence that is a part of the county’s past, is in its second year of operation with no end in sight.

The coalition has continued its work with city committees to delve more deeply into local incidents and to make plans for memorials in their areas, with events to raise awareness, with a student essay contest and with a quilting project to illustrate the area’s past of racial violence through art. More academically inclined work also is continuing, and JCMP on Tuesday released a new report that built on last year’s work documenting Jefferson County’s lynching victims and describing the ways police, the media and businesses fed into the violence of the era. Read more.

“There Is Always More We Can Learn”: Jefferson County Memorial Project Finds More Lynching Victims, Documents Systematic Racial Oppression

The Jefferson County Memorial Project on Tuesday released “Jefferson County’s Broken Systems,” its second report about lynchings that took place in Jefferson County between 1883 and 1940.

The report provides more details about the history of Jefferson County’s 30 documented lynching victims who are memorialized at the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice, discovered four more lynching victims and examined what systems allowed racial terror to continue.

“There is a larger system of terror that institutions from government to law enforcement to business were complicit in. What this report tries to do is to draw out that larger picture of how an entire community is implicated in this system of racial terror,” said Abigail Schneider, JCMP director. Read more.

Read More About the JCMP

Jefferson County Memorial Project Efforts Continue Into the Next Decade

Jefferson County Memorial Project Memorializes Two Lynching Victims at Sloss Furnaces

The Jefferson County Memorial Project dedicated a historical marker in honor of lynching victims Tom Redmond and Jake McKenzie during a ceremony Monday night.

McKenzie was killed June 17, 1890, and Redmond was killed March 22, 1897, at the Brookside Mines, which were part of the Sloss-Sheffield Iron and Steel Co..

This is the first historical marker placed by JCMP, a grassroots coalition that has researched the stories behind 30 people who were lynched in Jefferson County between 1883 and 1940.

The goal of JCMP is to bring awareness of the victims of racial terror and their descendants, advocate for racial injustice reforms and place historical markers at lynching sites throughout Jefferson County. The group’s efforts are inspired by the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened in Montgomery in April 2018. The memorial is made up of monuments that represent 800 U.S. counties and are dedicated to African American victims of lynchings. Read more.

JCMP Dedicating Its First Lynching Markers

The Jefferson County Memorial Project will be dedicating its first historical marker in honor of two men killed in the 1890s. Both Jake McKenzie and Tom Redmond worked at mines owned by the Sloss-Sheffield Iron and Steel Company. The memorial being held Monday at 6 p.m. at Sloss Furnaces, also will remember the system of convict leasing on which the JCMP has sponsored community discussions this summer. Before the dedication, the JCMP is holding a discussion on the film “Slavery by Another Name” Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. Read more.

Read BW’s earlier package on lynchings in Jefferson County and JCMP’s plans:

“This Report Will Be Hard to Read:” Jefferson County Memorial Project Puts the Spotlight on Lynchings, and There’s More to Come.

Jefferson County’s 30 Victims and Their Stories

Students at colleges in the Birmingham area researched lynchings of 30 victims, including facts they found mostly in government documents and press reports, along with some of their impressions of the situations. Here are links to the victims’ stories.

Lewis Houston, Nov. 24, 1883, Linn Park
Unknown, April 22, 1886, Pratt Mines
Monroe Johnson, Sept. 19, 1887, Leeds
Jeff Curry, March 18, 1888, Adger, Blue Creek Mines
Hardy Posey, April 23, 1888, Bessemer, Southern Railway Depot
George Meadows, Jan. 15, 1889, Birmingham, Near Pratt Mines
John Steele, Sept. 27, 1889, Pratt Mines
Tom Redmond, June 17, 1890, Brookside Mines
Henry Smith, Nov. 16, 1890, Hillman Community
Unknown, Nov. 17, 1890, Location Unknown
Robert Mosley, Nov. 4, 1894, Dolomite
James Anderson, Oct. 9, 1896, Toadvine, Near Rocky Creek Bridge
Henry Cyat, Oct. 10, 1896, Toadvine Area
William Wardley, Dec. 7, 1896, Irondale
Jake McKenzie, March 22, 1897, Brookside Mines
James Thomas, July 3, 1897, Blossburg
Unknown, May 11, 1901, Leeds
Charles Bentley, Aug. 2, 1901, Leeds
Jerry Johnson, Sept. 3, 1907, Birmingham
Elijah Nelms, July 29, 1908, Pratt City
William Miller, Aug. 4, 1908, Brighton
Anthony Davis, Aug. 21, 1908, Pratt City
John Thomas, April 25, 1909, Bessemer, Outskirts of Town
John Chandler, Jan. 28, 1912, Bessemer, 3rd Avenue and 19th Street
William Smith, Nov. 1, 1912, Bessemer, 1623 Second Avenue
Wilson Gardner, Aug. 23, 1913, Kilgore
Will McBride, July 12, 1923, Adamsville
Elizabeth Lawrence, July 5, 1933, Birmingham
George Taylor, Aug. 23, 1934, Stockham Park
O.D. Henderson, May 9, 1940, Fairfield