Ed Johnson memorial dedication
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – “He is finally walking away from that, symbolically walking away that tragedy,” said artist Jerome Meadows.
Ed Johnson and his two lawyers now have scriptures to be remembered for changing US history.
“The nature of the memorial itself, I decide to use down to connect it with the bridge. In terms of the story 1906 the Bridges I mean character found a lot of contemporaneous development going on so I felt it was important for the memorial to take us back if you will to 1906,” said Meadows.
Ed Johnson was the first African American given a stay of execution from the Supreme Court. Despite that, he was lynched by a white mob for a crime he didn’t commit, being hung from this bridge.
Meadows said he wants the memorial to spark discussion with each other, not at each other.
“We can agree to disagree but you need to be talking with each other rather than at each other,” said Meadows.
After the dedication, people walked across the bridge to remember a part of history. The dedication is something Meadows is still getting used to.
“And I was just awestruck by the fact that descendants we’re here. It makes it more personally real and that’s ultimately what the memorial is designed to live from now on within our personal realities,” said Meadows.
He said it’s was incredibly important to him to have Johnson surrounded by those who tried to save his life.