DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
Injustice and oppression are an all too familiar story for people and families of color in America, especially in the dirty south. This story however has an extraordinary historical effect on the fight for social justice and reconciliation for Africa Americans that is just recently reaching its climax. The story I speak of is the story of Ed Johnson. A Chattanooga young man with a budding career as a respected brick mason, who’s hands built structures that still stand today, was falsely accused of assault then shot by a mob of angry white people after the Supreme Court granted him his due process.
If you know Rosa Parks, you should know Ed Johnson. Throughout being falsely accused, unjustly tried, marched to his certain death; he still asked God to bless his persecutors. His unfair trail, the efforts of his lawyers, and the tragic end of his life were the spring board to end lynchings in America at the turn of the century. Leroy Phillip’s book, Contempt of Court, tells the story in far greater detail. Unfortunately this extraordinary tale of American history has been swept under the rug because it deals with how white America has treated African Americans and the majority, frankly, refuses to find enough constructive efforts to fix.
The story hit home for some local activists who have started the Ed Johnson Project which includes an effort to memorialize the area where he was killed, continued efforts to persevere the cemetery where he is buried, release a documentary on the events leading up to and after his death, and a college fund in his honor. The memorial will be at the south end of the Walnut Street Bridge. This memorial, being designed by Jerome Meadows, has been approved by the Ed Johnson Project and construction could began as early as this summer. The documentary will be completed and released as early as the October. These are small victories in the realm of reconciliation to African-Americans who have been oppressed in this country for over 500 years. In the climate of bigotry and hate, where some feel we may have taken steps back, it brings hope.
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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