VOL. 130 | NO. 241 | Friday, December 11, 2015
Interfaith Group Calls For Truth in Memphis Historical Markers
By Bill Dries
An interfaith prayer service on the site of a slave market owned by Nathan Bedford Forrest Thursday, Dec. 10, drew a group of 150 people during the Downtown lunch hour.
The service is the start of a movement by the religious leaders for more accurate historical markers, including new markers to reflect the history of lynchings in Memphis.
The group, gathered in the park on the southwest corner of B.B. King Boulevard and Adams Avenue, read the names of 18 lynching victims from the 19th and 20th centuries, including six people killed by mob violence in a single day, Sept. 1, 1894.
“We need to be clear. It isn’t only truth about facts that we are focused on today while these are clearly very important,” said Rev. Billy Vaughan of Memphis Theological Seminary. “It’s also and perhaps even more essentially the truth about who we are as a people and what truly frames our individual and communal soul.”
The group has also suggested new wording for the corner marker, which currently says Forrest lived there but makes no mention of his time as a slave trader or the presence there of the slave market.
Forrest also was a Confederate general during the Civil War and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.