(Abbeville, SC) -‐ The family of Anthony Crawford, who was lynched 100 years ago here, will be joined in a two-‐day event to memorialize him later this month with the Equal Justice Initiative, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, the We Say Enough Campaign and the Southern Truth and Reconciliation Network. Crawford, was a leader in the Abbeville community and one of the wealthiest and most powerful African Americans in South Carolina. He was a prominent Black farmer who owned 427 acres of land in Abbeville County, adjacent to his brothers’ properties. Crawford was assaulted, arrested and placed in jail after a disagreement with a white store owner over the price of cottonseed that Crawford brought to the market on Oct. 21, 1916. Crawford was released on $15 bail, but was later abducted by a mob of at least 200 white men and then lynched at a nearby fairground. A South Carolina newspaper reported a headline the next day: “Negro Strung Up and Shot to Pieces.” Two days later the family was advised to leave Abbeville, “for the sake of peace and the best interest of the county.”
100 years later, Crawford’s family and community continue to suffer from the legacy of this heinous act. To responsibly address harm done to both the family and the extended community, the family along with supporters from all across the nation, will come together on Oct. 21-‐22 to engage in acts of truth-‐telling, teaching and learning, reparatory justice, and healing.
Doria Johnson, Anthony Crawford’s Great-‐Great Granddaughter and primary organizer for the event said: “My family was devastated in 1916, our land was stolen, and we were ordered out of town by hundreds of our white neighbors. We scattered, starting all over again with few resources, after SC Governor Manning declared he could not protect us. We continue to suffer, and are honored the Equal Justice Initiative donated this marker to help correct the visible record in the center of Abbeville.”
Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative will officiate the marker unveiling ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 22nd in downtown Abbeville as part of their Community Remembrance Project, a campaign to recognize the victims of lynching by collecting soil from lynching sites and creating a memorial that acknowledges the horrors of racial injustice in America.
Here are details of the Oct. 21-‐22 events:
Freedom School Teach-‐In, October 21, 7 am – 4 pm, Downtown 314 Main Street, Abbeville, SC, 29620 Soil Collection and Consecration at the Lynching Site October 21, 4 pm, 100 Court Square, Abbeville, SC 29620
Unveiling and Presentation of Historic Marker, October 22, 11:00 am 100 Court Square, Abbeville, SC 29620 Worship Service and Essay Contest, October 22, 12:30 pm Cypress Chapel AME Church, 140 Cypress Chapel Road, Abbeville, SC 29620
Crawford Family: Doria Johnson, 312.285.1268, firstname.lastname@example.org
Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Kiara Boone, 334.269.1803, email@example.com
We Say Enough Campaign: Ronnie Galvin, 678.754.2778, firstname.lastname@example.org