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Austin will have the first plaque in Texas to acknowledge state’s history of lynching

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

At the Nov. 27 meeting of the Human Rights Commission, Commissioner Ashley Normand announced that Dec. 16 at the Wesley United Methodist Church in East Austin, the NAACP will install the first plaque in the state of Texas to remember those in Travis County who were victims of the rash of lynchings that took place between the period of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights era. Although a first in the state, this is not the only plaque to be erected in the South. The December ceremony is part of a larger initiative to reconcile our country’s history of lynching through remembrance, and it was begun by Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative out of Montgomery, Alabama. According to his report on the need for memorialization of this period, “Creating a formal space to memorialize mass violence can help to establish trust between communities and build faith in government institutions.” Nelson Linder of the Austin chapter of the NAACP told the Austin Monitor that this plaque is important to reconcile our county’s record with lynching and ensure that the victims stay in our collective memory. The installation ceremony will take place at the church 1-3 p.m.

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