MU students remember last Columbia lynching victim

2 years 3 weeks 1 day ago Friday, September 30 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 2:54:00 PM CDT September 30, 2016 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
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An 18-year-old Kansas City man has been found guilty of fatally shooting a man who he... More >>
39 minutes ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 6:53:30 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - The uncle of the Columbia native who died in a car crash late Saturday night described his nephew... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 9:40:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Three air conditioning units were stolen from Discovery Church in Northeast Columbia Tuesday night. The pastor of the... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 6:01:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Parson appointed the new director of the Missouri Medicaid program, filling a permanent position after 22... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 5:40:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Renee Hoagenson and Vicky Hartzler are running against each other for a seat in the House of Representatives.... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A poster display regarding sexual orientation and gender identity at Gentry Middle School received mixed reviews from parents... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 4:06:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou forward Jontay Porter will miss the entire 2018-19 basketball season after tearing both the ACL and MCL... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A downtown Columbia restaurant discontinued an Election Day incentive after realizing it could be violating voter laws. ... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 2:39:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
O'FALLON (AP) — A suburban St. Louis man who has served as a Cub Scout den leader has been charged... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The United Nations' drug strategy of the past 10 years has been a failure, according to a major... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 2:17:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors filed charges Monday against the driver of a car which crashed late Saturday, killing one person. ... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 12:49:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Missouri Republican Party says a miscommunication caused 10,000 voters in the state to receive mailers... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 10:31:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has allowed an injunction to remain in place against part of... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 9:44:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police say one person died and three people were injured when an off-duty Kansas City police... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 7:48:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Three black trailblazers at the University of Missouri have been honored on the Columbia campus. The... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 7:36:12 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA -The next Mega Millions drawing will take place the night of Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. central time. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 3:57:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's 107th Homecoming has come and gone, but left behind a lot of clean up.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:34:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - Neighbors in the town of Hermann, Missouri are still grieving after a fatal accident involving a trolley killed... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:01:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
8am 44°
9am 47°
10am 51°
11am 55°