Etched in memory: Pilgrimage to Montgomery honors local lynching victim

  • LEAVE A COMMENT
The simplicity of the 800 blocks representing the counties where people were lynched makes the Equal Justice Initiative's National Memorial for Peace and Justice all the more profound.
Photo Eze Amos The simplicity of the 800 blocks representing the counties where people were lynched makes the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice all the more profound. Photo Eze Amos

pilgrimage is a spiritual journey that, with its elements of symbolism, ritual and enlightenment, seems almost medieval in the 21st century.

The symbolic reason approximately 100 Charlottesvillians boarded buses July 8 for a six-day civil rights pilgrimage was to commemorate the 1898 lynching of John Henry James, which was virtually unknown until about two years ago. The group took soil from his murder site, now owned by Farmington Country Club, to Montgomery, Alabama, where the Equal Justice Initiative collects jars of dirt from 4,400 documented lynchings, mostly in the South.

There was a healing element to the journey after last year’s Summer of Hate, and a desire for truth-telling to help transform the community and move it forward. Because the events of August 11 and 12, say the trip’s organizers, were not isolated aberrations, but part of a 400-year history of racial terror.

The pilgrims visited more than a dozen civil rights museums and sites along the way, because understanding this country’s dark history is key to changing the narrative, according to pilgrimage organizers Andrea Douglas, executive director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, and Jalane Schmidt, a UVA religious studies professor.

“This trip is part of an effort to educate students, teachers and all community members about the legacy of anti-black racial terror and black resistance in Charlottesville specifically and across the South more broadly,” says Schmidt.

“Dr. Schmidt and I wanted to take hold of a narrative people were trying to tell for us,” says Douglas. She says she was asked the inevitable question about revisiting this history: Can’t we just move on?

She replied, “When my past is no longer my present.”

The pilgrims boarded two buses—the bus itself symbolic of the civil rights movement: back-of-the bus, bus boycott and Freedom Riders bus in flames.

They came from a wide spectrum of life here that included elected officials, students, activists, clergy and church members and UVA staffers, students and faculty, with scholarships offered so that the $1,500 cost would not be an obstacle to anyone who wanted to go.

On the journey, Courtney Maupin became more aware of the huge role students played in the civil rights movement, which she pointed out to her 13-year-old daughter Jakia, who also was on the pilgrimage.

“This is a trip only a few people get to take,” says LeBron Booker, a Charlottesville High student. “It’s seeing things you really don’t get to learn about in school.”

The six-day pilgrimage hit civil rights landmarks in Appomattox (1), Danville (2), Greensboro (3), Charlotte (4), Atlanta (5), Birmingham (6), Selma (7) and Montgomery (8).

What happens after the pilgrimage will be determined in the coming weeks, months and years.

Some, like UVA professor Frank Dukes, want to see a truth and reconciliation commission “going back to our founding, to the native roots and displacement, slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow and beyond,” he says. “We also need to tell the stories of resistance, of resilience, of accomplishment, too.

“Charlottesville—and the nation— have to understand how the violent white supremacist rallies last summer fit into a legacy of racial terror,” says Douglas. “This is our challenge: Can we create a process that uncovers and disseminates racial truth?”

A pilgrimage is one way to start.

Day 1: From Civil War to civil rights

Councilor Wes Bellamy slams a United Daughters of the Confederacy-produced film the Danville Museum of Fine Art and History shows about tobacco magnate William Sutherlin that doesn’t mention the role slaves played in amassing his fortune. Eze Amos
Lorie Strother calls the outburst at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History “disrespectful.” Eze Amos

Ninety-six Charlottesvillians boarded buses on the one-year anniversary of the July 8 KKK rally and headed to Loyal White Knights country—but did not stop at KKK headquarters in Pelham, North Carolina—on the first day of their six-day pilgrimage to Montgomery.

Martin Luther King called Danville the worst segregated city he’d seen in the South. It’s where the Confederate cabinet met for the last time before General Robert E. Lee surrendered in 1865. And it’s also the site of Bloody Monday, a 1963 civil rights demonstration during which 47 protesters were beaten by police.

Confederate president Jefferson Davis stayed in the Italianate mansion that was the home of William Sutherlin. It’s now the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, and Civil War history and civil rights history coexist there—at times uneasily.

A film about slave-owning tobacco magnate Sutherlin produced by the Daughters of the Confederacy did not sit well with some in the Charlottesville contingent, including City Councilor Wes Bellamy, who denounced being subjected to a “culturally incompetent whitewashing” on the anniversary of the Klan rally.

“You’re being disrespectful,” countered UVA employee Lorie Strother, who said that while she didn’t necessarily disagree about the film, it was unfair to “come into their house and raise hell.”

The mood calmed after a panel of civil rights activists, who were teenagers in 1963, talked about trying to end segregation with peaceful protests that brought movement leaders, including King, to Danville.

Pastor Thurman Echols was 16 and “one of the first to be arrested.” Police went to his house and arrested his mother and father, he said, which happened when the demonstrators were underage.

Carolyn Wilson was 15 years old and described being taught by civil rights leader Andrew Young “how to curl up in a ball so you wouldn’t get as severely hurt when beaten.” And she assured the survivors of August 12 that just because she followed King’s practice of nonviolence didn’t mean she didn’t want to beat someone. “We were spat on and rocks were thrown at us,” she said.

Dorothy Batson was 17 when she was dragged from Belk department store—but had someone ready to step in to lead the demonstration after her arrest. “Be organized,” she advised.

She went on to organize against the poll tax and to teach people how to read and write so they could register to vote, because literacy tests were another way to disenfranchise black voters.

“That’s what we went through,” she said. “It hurt my heart that you wanted to walk out because you didn’t like what you heard,” referring to the earlier kerfuffle.

A Charlottesville teen said she could see going back to fighting for civil rights again, which drew chuckles from the panelists, one of whom said the battle had never ended.

The museum was the site of a battle over a Confederate flag that flew outside in 2015. The building is owned by the city of Danville, and the city council refused to allow its removal—until the Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre.

Another traveler asked what was being done about all the Confederate flags that went up when the museum flag came down, including the largest one in the country on U.S. 29 that cost $30,000 and is on private property, according to Martinsville Vice Mayor Chad Martin.

“No industries want to come to Danville,” said Echols, who suggested not supporting business owners who fly the flag.

The buses were loaded and had left the museum when they pulled into a parking lot so the group could see the Bloody Monday historical marker in downtown Danville.

Earlier in the day, the pilgrimage stopped at the Appomattox courthouse, where Lee surrendered and which is now a national park. Former 5th District congressman Tom Perriello and his nephew joined the group for a bit. Perriello recalled first visiting the national park as a Boy Scout, and said the historical retelling had gotten more accurate over the years.

Historical interpretation was the topic after leaving Appomattox, where its focus was very much on the military history, with little about the enslaved people who were there. “I would have liked a little bit more,” said Virginia Humanities’ COO Kevin McFadden.

And his colleague Justin Reid, director of African American programs, called it a “missed opportunity” and said Historic Jamestowne is “cutting edge” on the interpretation of African American history while Monticello is incorporating that history throughout the site.

Day 2: First sit-in and Greensboro’s August 12

Don Gathers and Beloved Community Center’s Nelson Johnson embrace in Greensboro. Eze Amos

“Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around.” July 9, the second day of travel, began with a song from Joyce Johnson, a native Virginian who was present in Greensboro, North Carolina, when the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis shot and killed five activists at a black public housing complex in 1979.

Johnson and her husband, Nelson, founded the Beloved Community Center. They were Communist Workers Party activists at the time of the murders, and after two white juries found the KKKers not guilty, they organized a truth and reconciliation commission.

Beloved’s focus these days is training and healing, said Joyce Johnson, a mission that struck a chord with the Charlottesvillians scarred by August 11 and 12.

The story of the Greensboro murders and lack of police intervention seemed to activist Don Gathers an “eerily familiar story” 39 years later. While Charlottesville became international news, city fathers in Greensboro preferred not to dwell on November 3, 1979, a date that’s as notorious with the Johnsons as August 12 is in Charlottesville.

Much like Danville, many on the trip had not heard of the Greensboro KKK murders.

“My two children saw their Auntie Sandy with a bullet between her eyes,” said Nelson Johnson. The story got worse. Johnson was jailed with a bond double that of the accused Klan killers and “demonized,” he said, with police putting out a false narrative that the incident was a shootout.

The only legal satisfaction for the family of one of the victims was a civil suit that found the Klan and Greensboro police liable, the latter for their deliberate absence, said the Johnsons.

Joyce Johnson summarized the questions from the Charlottesville contingent as, “what do you do?” and “how do you do it?” Said Johnson, “I’ve been there.” She recounted being a 17 year old from Blackwell outside of Richmond and thinking, “We’ll get the country straight in a few years.”

Community is the key to change, she said. Interact with people. “You use all avenues.” And have a song you can sing.

Nelson Johnson once met with a Klan grand dragon who was coming back to Greensboro. “This was an effort to speak to the soul that was there,” he said. “That may not work for everyone.”

And initiatives like the Charlottesville pilgrimage is another path. “What you’re doing today is almost off the radar,” said Johnson.

Many in the pilgrimage were moved by the Nelsons’ determination in the fight for civil rights over the years. Sitting in the front row, Ashlee Bellamy could see the emotion and the tears in Joyce Johnson’s eyes. “Here in Greensboro, they’re still dealing with that,” said Bellamy.

A few blocks away is the Woolworth’s where four North Carolina A&T State University students staged the first student sit-in at the segregated lunch counter on February 1, 1960, which sparked a wave of resistance around the country. The former five and dime is now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The original lunch counter is still there and the building itself is an artifact, one that was nearly torn down to build a parking garage, according to the tour guide, LT.

“Segregation is the sequel to the movie called slavery,” said LT, who traced the beginnings of the civil rights movement and then went back to expose the racism, hatred and hypocrisy woven into the original fabric of the country, citing the words of Charlottesville’s own slave-owning progenitor Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Louis Nelson, UVA professor of architectural history and vice provost for academic outreach, has visited the much larger National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and he said he was impressed with the Greensboro civil rights museum, particularly its depiction of America’s racial terror. Fractured images evoke “the shattered glass of physical violence, and the powerful effect of violence shattering lives and families,” he said.

The exhibition of photos of mutilated bodies is one often avoided, he said. “The curators made the decision the season of submitting to delicate sensibilities is over.”

On the road to the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, a gospel sing-along began that continued later on as the pilgrimage buses motored to Atlanta.

Pilgrimage organizer Jalane Schmidt, who got the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society’s KKK robes out of the closet last summer, encounters a Klan hood at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. Eze Amos

Day 3: Atlanta and the MLK effect

The cart was difficult, but it was the lunch counter in Atlanta’s civil rights museum that had many in tears.

The Charlottesville pilgrimage began its third day—July 10—in Atlanta, where it’s all Martin Luther King Jr. all the time. And that means at both the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the travelers got to experience his life and legacy—and his assassination and funeral—twice in one day.

Song is a nonviolent protest tactic, and on at least one of the two pilgrimage buses, song has become part of the journey. As the bus loaded up to leave the hotel, the Reverend Susan Minasian of Sojourners United Church, a member of the pilgrimage’s clergy team, led a round of the South African hymn “Siyahamba”—“We are marching in the light of God”—in both English and Zulu.

At the King Center, Atlanta City Councilor Amir Farokhi, who represents the MLK district, welcomed the Charlottesville delegation.

“I would presume it’s as much about healing as it is about empowerment,” he said of the pilgrimage. “We’re inspired by the work you’re doing. Charlottesville is the tip of the spear.”

The pilgrimage visits historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The area where the sprawling center is located is now a historic district, thanks to Coretta Scott King asking her friend, former president Jimmy Carter. It became a national park this year. She also lobbied to have her husband’s birthday become a national holiday.

In the MLK museum was the wooden cart drawn by mules that carried King’s body through Atlanta for his funeral. Vizena Howard had been to the King Center before, but on this trip, “that cart—that bothered me,” she said.

Elsie Pickett said visiting the King site made her think, “We are still trying to find that dream Martin Luther King preached about in 1963.”

The cart that carried Martin Luther King’s body is at the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Change in Atlanta.

The Charlottesville group lunched in the Sweet Auburn District, where Coretta Scott King founded the Historic District Development Corporation to preserve and revitalize the MLK Historic District without displacing residents.

“So much of the Charlottesville story has affinity with Atlanta,” said pilgrimage organizer Andrea Douglas. “We have that historic fabric. We don’t have that recovery.”

Affordable housing is very much in the mind of Charlottesville—and Atlanta, where the historic district’s redevelopment has had the unintended effect of spawning gentrification.

Mayor Nikuyah Walker noted that when urban renewal claimed the historic black community Vinegar Hill in Charlottesville, the property “was stolen” from its owners.

“We can’t take these trips and kumbaya it” without going back to Charlottesville, having conversations and doing the hard work of coming up with an affordable housing solution, she said.

Some were exhausted by the time the buses reached the National Center for Civil and Human Rights around 4pm, but that visit turned out to be, for many, the most powerful of the six sites the group had visited so far.

An interactive lunch counter lets visitors experience all too uncomfortably what it was like to be an African American sitting in at a segregated diner. Participants put on headphones, closed their eyes and could feel the hot breath of hate in their ears and menacing kicks to the stools on which they sat.

Almost everyone tried it out, and a number left the counter in tears.

Miriam DaSilva experiences what it was like to sit-in at a segregated lunch counter. Eze Amos

“This was a little more emotional to sit down at that table,” said Courtney Maupin. “I ended up crying.”

And the “step-by-step exhibits leading up to the assassination of Dr. King, with him doing his eulogy months before, this one was more intense,” she said.

Back on the bus, Dona Wylie felt “overwhelmed with a sense of grief.” She graduated high school in 1962 and was aware of the civil rights struggles going on at that time. “It made me feel so sad we’re where we are, that things haven’t moved more than they have.”

Some solace was to be found at Sweet Auburn Seafood—besides the killer shrimp and grits and peach cobbler. A DJ had set up as the group readied to leave, and an impromptu dance party ensued.

As civil rights activist Joyce Johnson advised at the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, you’ve always got to have a song you can sing.

Or in this case, a dance.

Day 4: Into the belly of ‘Bombingham’

The violence in the civil rights struggle got worse the further into the Deep South one went, and it doesn’t get much worse than at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Sony Prosper and Abby Cox leave the church. Eze Amos

No matter how many civil rights museums one sees, Birmingham and Montgomery, as well as the state of Alabama itself, always have starring roles as the hearts of segregation darkness. On July 10, the fourth day on the road, the Charlottesville pilgrimage started in Birmingham with that most heart-rending of civil rights landmarks: 16th Street Baptist Church, where a white supremacist bombing murdered Carol Denise McNair, 11, and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley on a Sunday morning in September 1963.

“I don’t think anything moved me more than thinking about those four little girls,” said retired pastor David Garth.

The Charlottesville group learned that during the 1950s and ’60s, Birmingham’s nickname was “Bombingham.” Bombings were the terror tool of choice for white supremacists there, and Bethel Baptist Church, led by activist Fred Shuttlesworth, was bombed three times.

“I thought it was one, but it was repeated bombings,” said Garth.

The stained glass window was a gift from Wales to 16th Street Baptist Church after the 1963 bombing. Eze Amos

That surprised fitness instructor Myra Anderson, too. “To hear this church got bombed twice and this other church got bombed, I was like, my God,” she said.

For Anderson, 16th Street Baptist was the hardest of all the sites thus far. “Knowing the history of the church and what happened there—it was overwhelming. My heart felt heavy.”

Churches are the center of the African American community, said Anderson, making it all the more appalling that hate would invade that sanctity. During a film about 16th Street, she watched the choir continue to sing and the congregation continue to move forward.

“I cried,” she said. “I cried for my mother and for my grandmother. I just sat there and cried.”

At the same time, “I also felt inspired learning about the role young people played.”

Among sites the pilgrimage has visited like Danville and Greensboro, students played key roles in the struggle for civil rights because many adults feared losing their jobs if they protested unjust laws and treatment. Students, who didn’t have mortgages to pay and families to support, were ready to take up the fight.

Armand Bragg, the tour guide at 16th Street Baptist, was an activist as a college student. “I was a freshman in college and happy to get out of class,” he joked. But that wasn’t the only reason.

“Dr. King could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck,” he said.

Birmingham native Dr. Clifton Latting, whom several on the pilgrimage had met during a trip in May to Charlottesville’s sister city in Ghana—Winneba—agreed that people would “jump in the fire” if King said to do so.

Latting didn’t protest in high school, he said, because he was afraid and thought white people were cruel—and he wanted to go to college. But he understood the anger that fueled others. “I sat in the segregated part of the bus and I had to stand up if a white person wanted a seat,” he said.

“We couldn’t stop to urinate between Birmingham and Montgomery” because the available restrooms were white only. “Students were the driving spirit that changed that.”

Across the street from the church is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. For Robert Lewis, pastor at Hinton Avenue United Methodist Church in Charlottesville, “That one hit me the hardest of any so far.” That it followed the bombed church probably contributed to that, he acknowledged.

When the exhibit reached the inevitable KKK robe, seeing “such clearly orchestrated brutality on the part of whites, I wanted to go around and apologize to every person of color on the trip,” said Lewis. “It made me angry that the onus of responsibility is passed forward.”

He mentioned Latting: “His view of white people was that they were brutal, violent people—uncivilized.”

Further commemorating white-perpetrated racial terrorism, across the street from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is Kelly Ingram Park, where Bull Connor, Birmingham’s public safety commissioner for more than two decades, sicced dogs and turned fire hoses on protesters. Statues depict those low points in humanity.

Art imitates life in Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park. Eze Amos

In an interview with Birmingham television station CBS42, Tanesha Hudson said she’d always wanted to come to to that city.

“We have to continue the fight our ancestors started for us,” she said.

Being in the actual spaces where civil rights struggles took place galvanized those on the pilgrimage, which took an unscheduled detour to Selma to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where peaceful protesters seeking the right to vote were savagely beaten by police on Bloody Sunday—March 7, 1965.

The two-lane roads to Dallas County, which had the lowest percentage of registered black voters in Alabama, made it all too easy to imagine civil rights activists being murdered by angry white supremacists.

Driving into Selma, with its many boarded up houses and buildings, Charlottesville native Robert King observed from the bus, “So this is what hate did to this town.”

The pilgrimage to Montgomery detours to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Eze Amos

Walking across the iconic bridge, Rabbi Tom Gutherz of Congregation Beth Israel reminded the pilgrims, “You’ve got to think of the footsteps.”

A chorus of “Freedom” rang out.

Memorials lined the other side of the bridge. One was to the Tomb of the Unknown Slave, which had sacred objects typical of Western Africa, such as coins, rhythm instruments and cowrie shells, said UVA religious studies prof Jalane Schmidt. A marker to the multiple victims of lynching had been installed by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, which was the Charlottesville delegation’s ultimate destination.

The group gathered on a gazebo near the bridge, held hands and was led in prayer by Don Gathers. Some prayed for the sacredness of the place. Another prayer was in “recognition of those upon whose shoulders we stand.” Tears were dabbed, “Amen” was sung and then, with a chorus of “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” the group got on the bus and headed to Montgomery.

Day 5: Say his name

Next to nothing is known about John Henry James—not his age, his family nor his occupation. All that is certain is that he died on July 12, 1898, at the hands of a Charlottesville lynch mob.

On the 120th anniversary of his death, the pilgrimage delivered soil from his slaying site to the collection at the Equal Justice Initiative, which opened the National Memorial for Peace and Justice to commemorate the nation’s lynchings earlier this year.

Several local officials, including City Councilor Kathy Galvin and Albemarle supervisors Diantha McKeel and Ned Gallaway, as well as 5th District Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn, flew in for the ceremonial delivery of the soil to the Equal Justice Initiative.

But the biggest headliner was EJI founder, public interest attorney and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, who, it turns out, had a role in the Charlottesville group ultimately being there.

EJI founder Bryan Stevenson says the country is still burdened by its history of racial bias. Eze Amos

That stemmed from his visit to the Virginia Festival of the Book in March 2016—three days before then vice-mayor Wes Bellamy called for the removal of statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

After Stevenson spoke to the crowd, Bellamy stood up and said he’d been at that book festival event and had asked Stevenson whether Charlottesville should remove its Confederate monuments.

“If you wouldn’t have said yes, we wouldn’t be here now,” said Bellamy.

Stevenson reminded everyone that what happened in Charlottesville on August 12 was part of the country’s legacy of racial bias, starting from its earliest days, which made the new nation founded on notions of equality “comfortable with 200 years of slavery.”

Said Stevenson, “We’ve all been infected and compromised and contaminated by this legacy, this history of racial inequality.”

And changing that narrative of white supremacy got to the heart of the pilgrimage to commemorate a victim of racial terrorism. “You are modeling what that change is about,” said Stevenson.

Within the soil transported to Montgomery are the sweat, blood and tears of those who were forced to exist upon it, said Stevenson. “In the soil there is the possibility of something new we can create.”

The delivery of the soil became the much belated funeral service for James, and clergy members on the pilgrimage carried out a requiem for him. There were tears, sobs and a literal “Kumbaya”-singing moment.

Charlottesville pilgrim Marie Coles Baker transfers dirt from the site where John Henry James was lynched in Albemarle into an Equal Justice Initiative jar in Montgomery, where EJI is collecting soil from lynchings all over the South. Eze Amos
Kevin McFadden contemplates a wall of soil at the EJI offices in Montgomery that was collected from lynchings. staff photo

The emotional roller coaster didn’t stop there. Next up was the EJI’s Legacy Museum, located on a site where enslaved black people were imprisoned before being taken to market during Montgomery’s human trafficking peak.

For UVA staffer Anne Lassere, in a week of hitting every civil rights museum between Charlottesville and Montgomery, the Legacy Museum was the most profound because of “seeing the line so clearly drawn from slavery to mass incarceration.”

She’s also glad it used the word “terrorism” in describing the effects of white supremacy in the subjugation of the black population through lynching and daily Jim Crow humiliations.

And then there was the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, both a commemoration of the more than 4,400 known people lynched and a hall of shame to those places where the murders occurred. More than 800 coffin-like rectangles hang from the ceiling, each bearing a county and state’s name, as well as the names of those lynched there.

The memorial site itself evokes Maya Lin’s Vietnam memorial. “It’s just sublime,” said Louis Nelson, UVA vice provost and professor of architectural history. “Its simplicity is its genius.”

Bronze statues at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery depict the stark brutality of selling human beings. Eze Amos

The day began with a couple of other notable civil rights landmarks: the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial Center and Dexter Street Baptist Church, headquarters for the Montgomery bus boycott and congregation of the 26-year-old Martin Luther King Jr.

“What I like about Southern Poverty Law is that they got the story right,” said pilgrim Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, who was murdered August 12. (A tribute to Heyer is featured in the SPLC’s memorial center.) “She wasn’t a leader. She wasn’t singled out. She was an ordinary citizen.”

Susan Bro at Southern Poverty Law Center notes the day—July 12—is about the lynching of John Henry James, and wonders about his killers praying before the lynching. Photo Eze Amos

At the historic Baptist church with its magnificent acoustics, music inevitably became part of the visit, starting with 15-year-old Dante Walker, son of the mayor, playing the piano as the Charlottesvillians streamed in.

Church tour director Wanda Howard Battle, before instructing the group to hold hands and sing “We Shall Overcome,” said, “I pray that when you leave this place today, you’ll never be the same.”

And that, undoubtedly, was the theme for #CvillePilgrimage.

 

Correction: The original version should have identified Historic Jamestowne as doing historic interpretation that Justin Reid said was “cutting edge.”  And Marie Coles Baker’s name was misspelled.

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy