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Video: 101 Years Later: Community calls for more comprehensive history lessons on Duluth Lynchings

Jun 16, 2021 04:47AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Emily Ness of WDIO-TV - June 15, 2021

On the 101 year anniversary of the dreadful day that Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie were lynched in the streets of Downtown Duluth, the community is calling for more comprehensive history lessons on the event in schools.

“We must acknowledge and teach what happened on this land,” Shawn Pearson, District Court Judge of Minnesota’s 6th Judicial District said. “We must tell their story.”

While much of the men’s story is told on the walls of the CJM Memorial, Pearson said he hopes to see it in history books as well.

“Let’s give our children of the future of this community the truth they deserve so that we can heal, support each other and grow our city, our state, our country into the promises upon which our country was founded,” Pearson said.

To expand on their knowledge of the 1920 lynching, a group of men from at Twin Cities based organization called Ujamaa Place traveled to the Peace and Justice Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama this past week before arriving in Duluth on the 101 year anniversary to speak.

“It was a phenomenal trip and learning experience for all of us,” Maceo Jackson, a member of the organization said.

“We were actually able to see the jars of soil that had the names of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie and it was touching,” Cedric Smith, another member of the organization said.

Going forward, they too hope to see the history of the Duluth Lynching taught in schools not only here in Minnesota, but across the country.

“This story needs to be told. It’s an intricate piece of our history,” Darnell Baker, Coach at Ujamaa Place said.

Commemorative events for the 101 year anniversary of the lynching’s this week come after last year’s events were significantly scaled back as a result of the pandemic.

To watch the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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