Tuesday, September 05, 2017 07:28 AM


Some time ago, when I first learned a group wanted to put some sort of plaque on the Walnut Street Bridge in memory of a black man who had been wrongly and viciously hanged there, I was against it. Why should we celebrate mankind at its worst, a brazen mob riddling Johnsons lifeless body after he was dead to the point bullets actually severed the hangmans rope?

I couldnt have been more wrong. At the County Commission meeting last week a group of those intent on erecting a suitable memorial explained their intentions and asked Hamilton County for a donation of $100,000. After I have taken the time to learn the story, I wish a statue could be erected instead of a plaque because it is a history lesson not just every student should know, but every adult as well.

Better yet, after the commission meeting I was lucky enough to walk out with one of the principals in the project who has quietly earned my respect in recent years, Eric Atkins. Eric, who is black, was aware I dont believe that tearing down a statue accomplishes anything, yet with merriment flashing in his eyes, he wondered, Wouldnt it be great if ...

News source: The Chattanoogan.com

See also: Davis & Hoss