After working quietly for two and a half years, the Walker County, Georgia, Peace, Love, Justice, Remembrance and Reconciliation Coalition — in cooperation with the Equal Justice Initiative based in Montgomery, Alabama — held a commemoration at the Rock Creek Fellowship campus in the Durham Community on Lookout Mountain to recognize the lynching of Henry White in 1916 and to promote healing and reconciliation.
The ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 27, included a short program with a welcome by Walker County Historical Society President David Boyle; a review of the purpose of the gathering by Beverly Foster, Walker County African American Historical & Alumni Association Inc.; reading by Rev. Andy Jones of side one words from the LaFayette marker placed on Sept. 19, 2020; a prayer for peace and justice by Rev. Donald White; and a song, “Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Peace” sung by Vince Stalling, program director of the coalition.
Boyle led a ritual in which each person placed a scoop of earth from a container of gathered soil into two ceremonial jars; the soil was gathered earlier at the actual site of the lynching. Rev. Hutch Garmany led the benediction/prayer. Rev. Eric Youngblood of the Rock Creek Fellowship was host pastor.
One of the jars filled with soil will be sent to the Equal Justice Institute in Montgomery for display with the marker for Henry White, and the other will remain for display in Walker County at a future museum of African American Heritage.
The final activity of the coalition is the scholarship/essay contest.