MU students remember last Columbia lynching victim

4 months 3 weeks 5 days ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 2:54:00 PM CDT in News
By: Kristen Reesor, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - MU's Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students unveiled a historical marker Friday at the location of Columbia's last public lynching.

The marker tells the story of former MU janitor James T. Scott. He was lynched by a mob over the Stewart Road Bridge in 1923 after a 14-year-old girl accused him of raping and assaulting her. The bridge is no longer there, so the marker was placed near the intersection of Providence and Stewart roads at the MKT trail head.

Brittani Fults was one of the event's organizers. Fults said Scott's life was cut short because of injustice.

"He wasn't afforded due process. He wasn't afforded the ability to say that 'I'm innocent,'" she said. "It was taken away from him when he was hauled out of the jail room to be lynched."

The Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students said people should not forget Scott's lynching.

The association's president, Tiffanesha Williams, wrote this in a post on the association's Facebook page: "Even though people of color are made to feel like they must forgive AND forget not so distant history, including incidents that are less than a decade, year, month, and even day old, we must not forget the punishments meted out to our community, simply for being. Forgetting without restitution or justice is merely inviting an encore."

Fults said the event is important because how you respond to the past affects your future.

"If we don't talk about it and address it, we're not gonna talk about what's going on now with voting rights," she said. "We're not gonna talk about anything that's important that still has to deal with people of color if we don't acknowledge what was happening to them 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 years ago."

About 100 people came to see the unveiling, including Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and Interim UM System President Michael Middleton.

A dedication ceremony and reception took place afterward. The ceremony included poetry, a play and lectures about the event and how it relates to current trends in America.

Stephanie Shonekan attended the event. She is the chair of the Black Studies Department at MU. She said ABGPS has done an excellent job focusing on an important moment in Mizzou's history.

Shonekan said, "It is a chance for us to stop and remember what happened and reflect on how the past is still present in many ways."

The marker is titled "Lest We Forget: Lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge." It reads: "Near this place, James T. Scott, a black janitor in the medical school at MU was killed on April 29, 1923. A mob brought Mr. Scott to the bridge, placed a noose around his neck and pushed him over the railing while hundreds of spectators watched. MU's presence and the alleged student involvement in Mr. Scott's murder stirred public outrage and made front page news across the U.S. Although charges were filed against the leaders of the mob, none were convicted. Let this site remind us of the injustices of our historical legacy. As we continue the fight against systems of oppression, let us reflect how to better our community for all Columbians. The lynching at Stewart Road Bridge reminds us of how far we have come and the work we yet to do."

According to a previous KOMU story, ABGPS raised $1,935 for the marker through a GoFundMe campaign. Its goal was $1,500.

The historical marker will be part of Columbia's African-American Heritage Trail downtown.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
LACLEDE COUNTY — A man accused of assaulting and sexually abusing his 5-month-old daughter nearly eight years ago finally has... More >>
2 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — United Airlines flight schedules posted to its website Saturday night showed two new flights out of Columbia Regional... More >>
3 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Saturday that his local office space will be relocated from its current... More >>
4 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — This weekend Missourians came together to give the Loos family a home makeover. Rhyan Loos, 7, was... More >>
6 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — There is a significant "values gap" between employers and the millennials who work for them, according to a... More >>
6 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County experienced at least a dozen fires Feb. 18, a number that did not surprise fire officials.... More >>
8 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — People from all over mid-Missouri gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Saturday to listen to local... More >>
9 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A crash involving an anhydrous ammonia trailer killed one person in Jefferson City Saturday morning. According... More >>
10 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Representatives from two East Campus housing associations spoke at the Unified Development Code public forum Saturday and found... More >>
12 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 1:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Hundreds of mid-Missourians attended the 6th Annual Fitness for a Cure event Saturday, an event that benefitted the... More >>
13 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:01:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A woman has been accused of stabbing a worker at a General Motors plant near St.... More >>
15 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:27:08 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — It could soon be legal for travelers to take their booze from the bar to their... More >>
15 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:04:05 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — It all started with a Madden tournament. Columbia College's new president at the time, Scott Dalrymple, challenged students... More >>
17 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 8:39:00 AM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — The Camden County Sheriff's Department has issued a Missing Endangered Person Report for Chad Hawk. Hawk was... More >>
21 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:41:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff's Department has noticed a decrease in the number of concealed carry permit applications and... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST in Top Stories
MOBERLY — A non-profit held an open house Friday for people to learn about a program that helps disabled people... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:41:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — When Deronne Wilson arrived at the First State Community Bank, he was expecting a job evaluation. Instead, friends... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Residents of Columbia have the chance Saturday to express their opinions in a public forum held by the... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 5:52:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 25°
2am 30°
3am 30°
4am 28°
5am 29°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:30a
The Insider
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program
12:00a
Among Ravens
2:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
8:00p
Neighbors
6:00p
Alfie
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld