George Peck, a Black man lynched more than 100 years ago by a white mob, is being memorialized by the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project as part of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
Peck had been accused but not convicted of attempted assault of a white girl when he was violently lynched in Montgomery County, Md., in 1880. Now, Montgomery County has put together its own project to remember and reconcile the state’s racist past, The Washington Post reported.
Two other documented lynching victims in Montgomery County were identified as John Diggs and Sidney Randolph. Peck, Diggs and Randolph are just three of the 41 total documented cases of lynchings that happened in the state of Maryland, according to the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project.
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Montgomery community members collected soil from the alleged spot where Peck was lynched. They plan to take it to Montgomery, Ala., where it will be placed with other similar jars at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum.
Just a short walk away from EJI’s Legacy Museum is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. It is a monument to more than 4,000 documented lynching victims killed between 1877 and 1950.
Peck’s name will be etched into the steel columns of the memorial, which hang from beams and are meant to symbolize the hanging of victims.
EJI encourages communities all over the country to bring soil from instances of documented lynchings and place a historical marker at the site of the lynching before bringing the soil in the jar to the museum.
“We cannot mask our history if we are to ever end systemic racism, social injustice and domestic terrorism delivered upon young black men in America even today,” Montgomery County council member Will Jawando said in January when a bill was introduced to raise awareness about lynchings in the area. “Let’s forever remember the names of George Peck, John Diggs and Sidney Randolph, and acknowledge our past of persecuting and murdering African Americans.”