#CvillePilgrimage 360 Tour
[Editor's Note: The tour's text comes from 'Etched in memory: Pilgrimage to Montgomery honors local lynching victim' (July 18, 2018), written by C-ville Weekly news editor Lisa Provence. It has been edited for brevity by tour creator and photographer Justin Reid, director of African American Programs at Virginia Humanities.]
A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey that, with its elements of symbolism, ritual and enlightenment, seems almost medieval in the 21st century.
The symbolic reason approximately 100 Charlottesvillians boarded buses July 8 for a six-day civil rights pilgrimage was to commemorate the 1898 lynching of John Henry James, which was virtually unknown until about two years ago. The group took soil from his murder site, now owned by Farmington Country Club, to Montgomery, Alabama, where the Equal Justice Initiative collects jars of dirt from 4,400 documented lynchings, mostly in the South.
The pilgrims visited more than a dozen civil rights museums and sites along the way, because understanding this country’s dark history is key to changing the narrative, according to pilgrimage organizers Andrea Douglas, executive director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, and Jalane Schmidt, a UVA religious studies professor.
Credits: Text by Lisa Provence. Photos by Justin Reid