This past Saturday, March 9th, the Zion Community Project Inc. held a poignant commemoration ceremony in honor of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Stewart, victims of the 1892 People’s Grocery Lynching.

The event, marking the 132nd anniversary of the lynching, included a volunteer clean-up of the historic Zion Christian Cemetery, followed by a ceremony honoring the victims and highlighting the ongoing efforts to restore this landmark of African American history.

“This year’s commemoration took on special significance as it fell on the anniversary date of the horrific lynching,” said Elaine Turner, Chairperson of the Zion Community Project. “We were proud to honor the lives of Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and William Stewart, along with all those buried in this sacred ground. Their stories must continue to be told, and the cemetery itself must be restored as a testament to their resilience.”

The Zion Christian Cemetery, established in 1876, is the oldest African American cemetery in Memphis. It holds the remains of countless individuals who made significant contributions to the city and beyond. However, the cemetery has faced challenges over the years, and restoration efforts are crucial to preserving this important historical site.

The volunteer clean-up on Saturday saw community members come together to clear debris, trim vegetation, and honor the memory of those buried in the cemetery. The subsequent ceremony featured speeches, tributes, and a renewed call for support in the ongoing restoration project.

Call for Support and Restoration

The Zion Community Project continues to advocate for the full restoration of the Zion Christian Cemetery. Those interested in supporting the cause can find details about volunteering or donating on the Zion Community Project Inc. Website.