Lynched Athens Co. Man Memorialized< < Back to
Independent radio producer Laura Harbert created this audio postcard of the Christopher Davis event.
ATHENS, Ohio– Members of the Athens community gathered under the Richland bridge Saturday to commemorate Christopher C. Davis.
A mob of more than 30 men lynched Davis, a black farmhand and father of two, in Athens in 1881. The mob took Davis from the jail after a white woman in Albany accused him of sexual assault. They hung Davis before he had the chance to defend himself in trial.
Attendees of the event collected soil samples from the approximate site where Davis was killed to send to the Legacy Museum and Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.
The ceremony also included singing, a performance and re-telling of Davis’ story and speeches from various members of the Athens community.
Athens Mayor Steve Patterson spoke at the event and said it’s important to keep an open dialogue.
“We as a nation, we as a people, we as human beings, need to always keep Christopher Davis in the front of our thoughts, and everyone else who has received injustice because of racial bias,” he said. “I find that so intolerant, but I have to weigh myself because it’s better to keep an open dialogue going and communications going rather than to put things in a box and let them sit on a shelf,” he said.
President of Mt. Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society Cherrie Hendricks also spoke at the event. She said that she hopes that remembering Davis’ story will help the community move forward.
“It is my fervent and unyielding dream that we heal this breech by looking back so that we can move forward because it is not taboo to go back and fetch that which is at risk of being left behind so we can move forward as a whole and complete healed community,” she said.
Davis was just one of the 4,400 documented black people who have been lynched in America.