The permanent marker was installed and revealed in a ceremony on October 3, 2023. This permanent marker memorializes the five victims of racial terror lynching was revealed to the community during a ceremony in downtown Anderson.
Mr. Terrence Roberts shared, “Today, we are proud to unveil a permanent historical marker in honor of the five victims Mr. Edward Sullivan 1894, Mr. Elbert Harris 189, Mr. John Laddison 1901, Mr. Reuben Elrod 1903, and Mr. Willis Jackson 1911. I want to say thanks to all that have participated in this and who share the vision of truth and reconciliation as a portal to a brighter future.”
The Anderson Area Reconciliation Initiative has worked with the Equal Justice Initiative, DJI in Montgomery, Alabama, to identify and honor the five known victims of racial lynching and Anderson County from 1894 to 1911. With the vision of Dr. Stuart Sprague, a local group of volunteers launched a research project in 2021 in partnership with to find appropriate ways to foster dialog, promote education and encourage conversation that acknowledges the past to work toward a time when true fellowship prevails among people of all races in our community.
Mr. Deksyos Damtew came from the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama spoke about the history of EJI and how this growing mission is represented in the work done here in Anderson County.
“As we can see, racial terror lynchings has impacted all of us. And between 1865 and 1950, the Equal Justice Initiative documented 6500 instances of racial terror lynchings over the years. We decided that it is important that we come together with communities across the United States to erect markers like the one that we are here to witness today, to honor the lives of lynching victims. Like the five men we are here to honor today. To understand the violence and the brutality that occurred and to hopefully move toward an era of truth telling where we confront the history of racial injustice in this country. Today, I is proud to work with over 200 communities in advancing this mission of truth telling, and I am excited to include Anderson County as one of those communities.”
Location of Permanent Marker in Downtown Anderson
Located on Main Street in downtown Anderson between John Street an River Street. (Click Here for Directions)