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“Remember, Commemorate, Rebuild”-- East St. Louis’ day of commemorating the violence of 1917 by Sylvia Sukop

Kierstan Carter

It’s late afternoon on July 2, 2017, and I’m walking with more than 200 other people toward Eads Bridge in a heat wave, drenched in humidity and sweat. We are tracing the route taken by African American residents of East St. Louis on this day a century ago, fleeing for their lives in the face of horrifying white mob violence—beatings, shootings, lynchings, burnings—that left dozens dead, hundreds injured, and thousands permanently displaced from their homes.

     A woman in front of me scoops up her young daughter and carries her awhile, then puts her down again, encouraging her to walk on her own. But soon the child reaches up begging to be carried again, and the mother can only do it for so long. Then the cycle starts over, with patience and love, as the two keep pace with the group the entire length of our one-and-a-half-mile walk from ground zero of the 1917 massacre (where the SIUE Higher [read more]

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(C) Sylvia Sukop

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