Historical marker to memorialize lynchings in Tuscaloosa County


Rebecca Rakowitz

The first historical marker to memorialize the lives of Black men lynched in Tuscaloosa County will be unveiled on March 6 by the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit human rights law firm out of Montgomery.

While the EJI has been working to memorialize lynchings in Montgomery, the Tuscaloosa marker is thanks to the work of University of Alabama students in the new history class “Southern Memory: Lynching in the South,” UA News reports.

In the class, which is comprised of 15 students and led by John Giggie, an associate professor of history, students learn about the history of lynching, all while researching lynchings that took place in Tuscaloosa County.

The students have researched the lynchings of ten men, the stories of whom Giggie hopes to compile into a digital humanities website that is open to the public.

“Although the research is difficult, it’s also rewarding,” Aaron Drake, senior majoring in history and communications studies, told UA News. “I’m convinced lynchings have such a strong historical and contemporary relevance, and its history needs to be seen and taught more. I’m grateful for the opportunity to shed light on the importance of one of the darkest moments of our nation’s history.”

UA News reports that students presented their research to the EJI last week. The EJI has since announced that they will unveil the marker in front of the old Tuscaloosa Jail at 4:45 p.m. on March 6.

For more on the class and the marker, visit https://www.ua.edu/news/2017/02/new-ua-class-reveals-history-of-local-lynchings-marker-for-victims-to-be-erected/