SOIL COLLECTION CEREMONY
On the evening of November 5, 2020, the Lee County Remembrance Project and the Equal Justice Initiative held a virtual Soil Collection Ceremony to acknowledge, lament and reflect upon the four African American men who were victims of racial terror lynching in Lee County: John Moss, George Hart, Charles Humphries and Samuel Harris.You can watch the full ceremony in the video above or find selected highlights from the ceremony in the videos below.
We are deeply appreciative to all who contributed to this evening including Rev. Clifford Jones and Greater Peace Baptist Church staff, Dr. Joan Harrell, Ty Cowan, Maiben Beard, Tae Kim, Auburn University Gospel Choir, Mosaic Theatre Company, Department of Theatre and the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, Pebble Hill, Fulton County Remembrance Coalition, Community Foundation of East Alabama, and the Museum of East Alabama.
Along with running the live camera feed, videos for the narrative of John Moss & George Hart, Charles Humphries and Samuel Harris, as well as the Communal Lament video, were arranged and edited by Ty Ray Productions Company.
In the Fall of 2019, small groups went out to each site near where the racial terror lynchings occurred to gather the soil that would be transferred into the jars at the originally scheduled soil collection ceremony on March 16th.
The Lee County Remembrance Project (LCRP) is grateful to those who took part in the gathering at the site and collected the soil to be preserved-- Rep. Jeremy Gray, Waverly Mayor Taylor Metzer, Richard Trammell, Rev. Dr. Joan Harrell, Smith Station Mayor Bubba Copeland, Ed Adams, Lisa Deason, Jean Madden, Debbie Hunter, Joe Davis, Geneva Williams, Dr. Robert Bubb, Olivia Nichols and Ashley Brown.
The wooden boxes used in our soil collection ceremony were graciously built by Palmer Adkins, Jr. The commemorative jars filled during the ceremony will be housed at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery and locally at the Museum of East Alabama in Opelika.
For more information on Soil Collection Ceremonies and EJI’s work please visit their site on Community Remembrance Projects.
In this soil, there is the sweat of the enslaved. In the soil there is the blood of victims of racial violence and lynching. There are tears in the soil from all those who labored under the indignation and humiliation of segregation. But in the soil there is also the opportunity for new life, a chance to grow something hopeful and healing for the future.