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With the support of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and the Lee County NAACP branch, our historical marker at the Lee County courthouse square in downtown Opelika honors and commemorates John Moss, George Hart, Charles Humphries and Samuel Harris - four Black men who were victims of racial terror lynchings - and shares their stories with the wider community. 


On Saturday June 12th, 2021, over 300 community members gathered at Opelika First UMC for our historical marker dedication ceremony. The ceremony recalled the stories of John Moss, George Hart, Charles Humphries and Samuel Harris and featured speeches from EJI representatives, the Lee County NAACP, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, and community members. Winners of the 2021 inaugural Racial Justice Essay Contest were also recognized. The crowd then marched to the Lee County courthouse square for the unveiling of the historical marker and the conclusion of the ceremony. Soil collected from the lynching sites was scattered at the base of the marker.

Video Credit: The Fifty Fund

The placement of this marker in the courthouse square serves as a place of public healing, acknowledgement and unity.  The courthouse square has shown us the power of community – for grief and remembering, like the memorial held by the Opelika City Council & Lee County Officers for the lynching of George Floyd; for celebration and unity like Juneteenth and Pride Day; and for calls for justice like protests held throughout the summer of 2020. 

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Click here to learn more about different monuments and historical markers in downtown Opelika

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