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This original Green Book is on display at the Sumner Ramer African American Museum and Heritage Center, along with hundreds of other artifacts.  The museum is located at 515 W. Martin Street, Martinsburg, WV.

Eastern Panhandle Community Remembrance Projects

Following the model of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Remembrance Project, the local coalition seeks to foster discussion and engagement about the reasons and effects of lynching.  This includes education, community outreach, and memorializing the 6,400+ documented lynchings in America between 1865 and 1950.

Coalition Organizational Members Include:

  • Martinsburg-Berkeley County NAACP, Branch 3242

  • Sumner Ramer African American Museum and Heritage Center

  • Green Hill Historic African American Cemetery

  • Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church/Social Justice Committee

  • Women’s March, WV-Martinsburg

 

The U.S. has done very little to acknowledge the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation. As a result, people of color are disproportionately marginalized, disadvantaged, and mistreated. The American criminal justice system is compromised by racial disparities and unreliability that is influenced by a presumption of guilt and dangerousness that is often assigned to people of color.

To that end, the Eastern Panhandle Community Remembrance Project has sought to bring the discussion about this legacy into the Eastern Panhandle community.

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This pillar with the name of Joe Burns is among 4,000+ other pillars with the names of lynched persons in America at the Equal Justice Initiative's Center for Peace and Justice in Montgomery Alabama.  

EDUCATIONAL WORK AND OUTREACH TO THE COMMUNITY

VISIT TO THE LEGACY MUSEUM

Powerpoint presentation recounting of a trip to Montgomery and the Equal Justice Museum and Memorial in February of 2020, the activities of the Eastern Panhandle CRP, and the work of EJI.

Narrative for the presentation

 

EASTERN PANHANDLE CRP

Presentation about the work of the Eastern Panhandle WV CRP and how we can help with EJI national and local efforts.

Narrative for the presentation

WHY WE MUST REMEMBER LYNCHING

A History of Racial Terror in the United States

The Eastern Panhandle Community Remembrance Project has conducted extensive research into Joe Burns, which has been compiled into this document, which includes:

  • news accounts of Joe Burns' lynching,

  • pictures of the soil collected from the site of the lynching,

  • oral history by the descendants of Joe Burns,

  • and a state historical marker placed near the lynching tree,

  • account of Joe Burns' lynching

  • pictures and a video of the celebration of life of Joe Burns with his descendants.

REMEMBERING THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JOE BURNS

THE LYNCHING OF
JOHN TOLIVER
Research into newspaper articles and local resources about the lynching of John Toliver, August 1874 in Martinsburg WV is ongoing. John Toliver was lynched on August 18, 1874.   Toliver was taken from the Martinsburg Jail (now the City Bank) to a spot about one mile north of town at the intersection of what is now Route 9 (Hedgesville Pike) and Route 11 (Williamsport Pike), near the railroad track.  There he was lynched from a locust tree.