Dear Weakley County,
I was educated in your public schools from the 4th through 12th grades. The education I received there has been invaluable. As good as my public education was, however, it failed to teach our state’s history surrounding slavery, the Civil War, and the myth of the Confederacy. It failed to disclose the horrible human suffering of enslaved people and the racial segregation that followed their emancipation. The pure evil of slavery and the additional suffering caused by the South fighting a civil war to preserve it were never taught in our schools. That history was eliminated from the curriculum or glossed over. It would be years before I understood some of the impact of slavery and the consequences with which we still live as a result of human slavery.
Additionally, well after the Civil War, Weakley County citizens were responsible for five known “Racial Terror Lynching’s” of black citizens. These murders were committed by angry, cowardly, white mobs. The murders were never acknowledged, and the perpetrators were never punished because the legal system at that time failed to protect and serve its Black citizens or hold the lawless mobs accountable. Here are the victims’ names and the dates of their lynching:
Loab Sanders: 07.29.1892
Era Dumas: 06.07.1893
Edgar Bell: 07.27.1893
Bob Hudson: 10.08.1893
Mallie Wilson: 09.04.1915
These victims were denied their rights as citizens and robbed of their futures. Their families and their community suffered their loss of these men and women while living in fear of more violence or death. Many fled Weakley County to avoid the same fate, leaving behind their livelihood, possessions, and other family. It is time to publicly and officially acknowledge, apologize and make restitution for these acts of racial hatred and to do so with the conviction that such atrocities will never happen again. May God heal our land.
Pastor John S. Quinton
Do Justice, love Mercy and walk humbly with God.