The Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Community Remembrance Project Coalition (We Remember Nashville) is holding its inaugural Week of Remembrance to kick off ‘Juneteenth 2019’ to “honor, remember, and celebrate the resilience of African Americans amidst racial terror in Nashville.”
The week began with an Educational Forum on Tuesday, followed by Marker Installations and Dedications on Wednesday, and Healing Retreat on Thursday.
An Interfaith Service that is free and open to the public is scheduled for Sunday at First Baptist Church South Inglewood. All faith and non-faith traditions are welcome.
Wednesday’s Marker installation and dedication took place at Woodland Street Bridge and 1st Ave. North. Remember Nashville partnered with Equal Justice Initiative to install the first phase of their public memory project including two historical markers in downtown Nashville.
The first marker is named for Henry Grizzard and Ephraim Grizzard, brothers who were violently hanged and killed by White residents of Davidson and Sumner counties on April 24 and April 30, 1892,” said the group. “The second marker is named for David Jones and Jo Reed, victims of pre-1877 racial terror lynching. Over 200 documented lynchings took place in Tennessee alone between 1877 and 1950, with at least four having occurred in Davidson County.”
We Remember Nashville exists to promote community awareness, education, and public reckoning around racial terror in Nashville, through partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative and local stakeholders.
According to the group he families affected by racially motivated violence and exploitation have never had their stories told, though they are part of the fabric of the African American experience in Davidson County.
According to their website: “In Nashville and throughout the South, terror was used to oppress and exploit African Americans in the same way that violence is used by modern-day terrorists. The constant threat of arbitrary violence created lasting trauma that shapes our world today and often goes unacknowledged. We Remember Nash-ville is working to make sure that this history no longer goes unrecognized.
“Six recorded racial terror lynchings took place in Davidson County between the end of Reconstruction and 1950.
“We are collecting those stories to begin a discussion about these events and the broader legacy of racial terror in Nashville. These six murders are only a handful of those that took place during this period—including a reported total of 234 in Tennessee and over 4,000 in the country as a whole.”
The group hopes that those affected by this history will view their efforts as a chance to heal and overcome the past.