More than 100 years after the lynching of George Peck in Montgomery County, Maryland, soil was collected from the site of the unjust killing as part of the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project, happening in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
As The Washington Post reports, a jar of soil from the site will be displayed at EJI’s Legacy Museum. EJI is encouraging counties across the United States to place historical markers and collect soil from lynching sites to promote a better understanding of the country’s history of lynchings. These soil samples are displayed at the museum, which is located blocks from EJI’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the United States’ first memorial dedicated to the more than 4,000 documented lynching victims killed between 1877 and 1950.
“EJI believes that by reckoning with the truth of the racial violence that has shaped our history, community members can begin a necessary conversation that advances healing and reconciliation,” said Elliot Spillers, a fellow from EJI.
EJI received the Changing Narratives Through Art, Keeping People Out of Jail and Prison and Shortening Sentences grants as part of the Art for Justice Fund’s Fall 2017 cohort.