Fox Carolina covered the unveiling of the statue remembering the five documented victims of lynching here Anderson County. The event was called “The Strange Fruit of Lynching” hosted at the Pendleton Library on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 6pm.
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PENDLETON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – In Anderson County, the five known victims of racial terror lynching are being remembered through art.
It’s part of the work of the Anderson Area Remembrance and Reconciliation Initiative (AAR&RI).
“This allows us to say their names, to acknowledge who they were, and to now as a community move on beyond those instances of racial terror lynching,” said AAR&RI Steering Committee Member Juana Slade.
The piece of art created by Herman Keith is heavy, weighing an estimated 2,000 pounds.
He wanted it that way because it deals with a heavy subject.
“It’s just not to make anyone experience a lynching, but just to taste it. Just to gain just a little bit of understanding so that we better ourselves as human beings,” explained Keith.
The art features five names on jars, filled with dirt from the places where each was killed, hanging above a pile of burnt wood.
Keith spent hours researching lynching’s to make this work as authentic as possible.
“These are men, women, and children whose potential was never realized,” said Slade.
The sculpture commissioned by AAR&RI will travel across Anderson County for now in Pendleton.
“We’ve had a violent history as a country, and the south is part of that. And healing has to take place,” said Pendleton Foundation For Black History and Culture Chair Terence Hassan.
The statue took more than a year to create, all that time for a reaction and a conversation.
“Conveying an emotion, capturing an emotion. A fleeting emotion cause they don’t last long. But a fleeting emotion and kind of capture it so that we all can reflect,” said Keith.
“The most important thing is that there are people who will have the conversation whether they like it or not,” added Slade.
The sculpture will be at the Pendleton Library through the end of May.