Pilgrims bear witness to racial reconciliation at Georgia lynching site

By Michelle Hiskey | October 25, 2016

A stone and bronze plaque unveiled Oct. 22 in front of the Douglass Theatre in Macon, Georgia, marks the location where in 1922 a lynch mob discarded the body of lynching victim John "Cockey" Glover. The plaque was unveiled during a pilgrimage by 175 people sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s Beloved Community Commission for Dismantling Racism. Photo: Hala Hess White

A stone and bronze plaque unveiled Oct. 22 in front of the Douglass Theatre in Macon, Georgia, marks the location where a lynch mob discarded the body of their victim John “Cockey” Glover in 1922. The plaque was unveiled during a pilgrimage by 175 people sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s Beloved Community Commission for Dismantling Racism. Photo: Hala Hess White

[Diocese of Atlanta] In an effort to confront racism and heal from it, 175 people made a pilgrimage Saturday, Oct. 22 to Macon and marked where a 1922 lynch mob dumped the body of John “Cockey” Glover.

“Telling the truth is the only path to real healing,” Catherine Meeks told the crowd assembled inside the Douglass Theatre, a historic landmark in Macon established by one of the city’s first African-American entrepreneurs. “People want to say that that the truth will lead to division, but it’s the lies that keep us divided.”

Meeks, a former professor of African-American studies at nearby Mercer University, led the pilgrimage on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s Beloved Community Commission for Dismantling Racism, which she chairs.

The pilgrimage grew out of the commission’s four-year effort to remove barriers to seeing God’s face in everyone. The commission last month hosted Alabama death penalty lawyer and “Just Mercy” author Bryan Stevenson, who drew a packed crowd at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. “When you go to spaces where there has been abuse, trauma and horror, and do something reflective, you can begin to respond to the trauma,” he said.