Community Remembrance Project

Carmaletta Williams
Missouri Valley Sundays
Community Remembrance Project
Sunday, February 6, 2022
3:00 pm
Online Event
Event Videos

In April 1882, following the shooting death of a Kansas City police officer, a local Black man accused of the crime, Levi Harrington, was seized from police custody by a white mob and hanged from a bridge. Similar acts of racial terror and murder took place across in the U.S. from the 1870s through the 1950s, including 60 documented lynchings in Missouri.  

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization that advocates for those illegally convicted of crimes and unfairly sentenced, founded the Community Remembrance Project to recognize lynching victims by collecting soil from sites of the killings and erecting historical markers. 

Carmaletta Williams, chief executive officer of the Black Archives of Mid-America, discusses her work with the EJI to memorialize Harrington and other victims of racial violence in Missouri. She talks, too, about how those memorials can promote community healing.  

Williams has directed the Black Archives since 2019 and helped curate a permanent exhibition of soil samples from Missouri lynching sites to raise public awareness of the state’s history of racial terror and promote reconciliation.