Case for Support
In early 2020, a group of community members in Anderson County, South Carolina formed the Anderson Area Remembrance and Reconciliation Initiative (AAR&RI.) The goal of the group is to honor the five known victims of racial terror lynching in Anderson County by reflecting more honestly on the history and legacy of racial and economic injustice. AAR&RI is working in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, to raise awareness and inspire action through dialogue, community education, and public memorials to eliminate disparities and move us toward the goal of a “Beloved Community.”
This request is to secure funding for the Anderson Area Remembrance and Reconciliation Initiative honoring the five known victims:
Mr. Edward Sullivan – 1894
Mr. Elbert Harris – 1898
Mr. John Laddison – 1901
Mr. Reuben Elrod – 1903
Mr. Willis Jackson – 1911
AAR&RI has enlisted the services of professional artists to design and construct a world-class exhibit to travel throughout Anderson County’s nine municipalities and unincorporated areas with a potential reach of 200,000 people.
The designer and lead artist on the project is Anderson native and Howard University graduate, Herman Keith, Jr. Mr. Keith and his team have a vision to “take the story to the people” in a powerful way to educate, evoke empathy and inspire movement toward a more just society.
This structure, made of wood and metal, will be designed in harmony with the art installation in tribute to lynching victims at the Equal Justice Initiative. Glass jars containing soil from the site of each lynching will be cradled in a movable structure accented with potent imagery and verbiage.
Artist statement from Mr. Keith: “This will be much more than a container. This will be a piece of art, designed specifically to reach deep into the community as we articulate this part of our history. It will be powerful…something like people haven’t seen before. It’s definitely a way to get attention, moving us closer to the vision of a ‘Beloved Community.’ Our design will be both graceful and formidable, serving as a model for other communities.”
The City of Anderson has a history of success in the implementation of public art and education projects having been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Duke Energy Foundation. The City was also honored with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, the highest award in South Carolina for public art.
To donate to support the efforts of AAR&RI please visit foothillscommunityfoundation.org