The stories of two Black men who were lynched more than 100 years ago in Virginia are finally being told and remembered. Dr. Brenda Hale, chairwoman of the Roanoke Equal Justice Initiative, says it’s a moment three years in the making.
“We’ve worked diligently. We crossed every T, dotted every I. And we did all the things in a right and decent manner. And this is the end result,” Hale said.
A historical marker will permanently sit on the grounds where Thomas Smith was lynched in 1893. Relatives in attendance at the ceremony say they were humbled by the support. The goal of the Roanoke Equal Justice Initiative is to tell that history so it’s not repeated in the future.
According to Hale, they’re working to finalize getting another marker that would honor the life of William Lavender, who was also lynched in the city in 1892.
Click ▶️ to listen to the report from AURN Washington Correspondent Ebony McMorris: