A mission of the Tennesseans for Historical Justice is to collect information about racial violence in the state and make it available to the public. Our hope is that people will use this information to conduct further research into these cases and stories to better understand our history and learn how to more effectively and completely address current incidents of racial terror to promote transparency, justice, and conciliation. Specifically, we are collecting cases and stories of racially-motivated beatings, hangings, bombings, and violence regardless of whether the case has been solved and the assailant prosecuted. We need to make a complete and thorough list for posterity.
We are seeking to uncover stories of individuals who were victims of violence motivated by an anti-racial bias. We know that many of these cases are documented in the state and the federal criminal justice system through police reports, grand jury transcripts, and other court records. While we are looking for these documents, we are also searching for stories that may have only been recounted in a newspaper or magazine article, or maybe not documented at all. Through our work, we know that a good number of instances of racial violence exist only in the memories of the individuals who experienced the terror, witnessed the incident, or who heard about it through family lore. Understandably, these folks are hesitant to share these stories for fear of retaliation against them and their families. The fear of more violence, for exposing the truth of the past, is real. Without a proper investigation of these cases and stories, however, the people of Tennessee will never know their past. As the old adage goes, if we don't understand our history, we are doomed to repeat it.
Tennesseans for Historical Justice pledges to investigate all reports of racial violence with compassion, sensitivity, and with an eye towards justice and conciliation, pursuant to Chapter 966 Tennessee Public Acts 2018.
We need your help. Let's work together to understand our history and make the state a safer and more welcoming place for all.