Memoried and Storied moves beyond the outrage and horror of Post-Civil War lynchings to compassion for the victims, giving them a name, a life, and a multi-racial, multi-generational community-led ritual for healing and remembrance.
Beneath our current political and social divide lie stories that beg to surface from our historical amnesia. Between 1877 and 1950 researchers have documented over 4000 lynchings in the twelve Southern states. Memoried and Storied does not dwell on the outrage and horror of all those events, choosing instead to build the truth around four victims, documenting their ordinary lives cut short by vigilante mobs eager to suppress any advancement by Black people in the years after the Civil War.
Each narrative fills in details of the victim’s life and focuses on remembrance events that name them and their descendants, honors their loss, and makes the sites of their death hallowed ground. These powerful events generate empathy that opens participants up to healing and reconciliation.
Remembrance events within communities of multi-racial and multi-generational activists near the sites of the lynchings have increased in number – for example, tripling in Virginia between 2019 and 2021. This book, illustrated with color photographs of several new memorials and historical portraits of activists and leaders provides a passionate demonstration of the effectiveness of these events in building awareness and moves a step closer to dismantling the systemic racism that strangles our progress.