Terre Haute NAACP remembers victims of lynching in the Wabash Valley

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV) — The Terre Haute chapter of the NAACP launched their Facing Injustice Project to remember victims of racial violence such as lynching.

This comes after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill with a 410-4 vote last week.

There were 19 documented lynchings in the state of Indiana including the lynching of George Ward in 1901 in Vigo Co.

The organization held a soil collection ceremony, which included soil from the Wabash River bank near Fairbanks Park, where Ward was lynched.

Terry Ward, the great-great grandson of George Ward said he hopes anti-lynching legislation will prevent events like what his grandfather experienced from happening again.

“I’m very grateful for any bill that is passed that will preserve someone’s life no matter what it is that they’ve done,” Ward said.

The anti-lynching bill would make lynching a federal hate crime in the United States.

Sylvester Edwards, president of the Terre Haute chapter of the NAACP, said he believes it’s time for the country to begin healing.

“They’ve got ancestors, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren that are still here. They have to hear about what they’ve done in Terre Haute. The healing begins with the anti-lynching bill that is getting ready to be passed,” Edwards said.

The organization’s project is a part of the Equal Justice Initiative‘s national Community Remembrance Project.

Jeanna Rewa, volunteer coordinator for the Facing Injustice Project, said in order to forward the past must be acknowledged.

“Being honest and looking into our history can really help us to build a more just community and prevent more injustices in the future,” Rewa said.

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