The Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition will hold a symposium on Saturday in collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative to honor and remember the victims of lynchings in Orange County.
Renee Price, an Orange County commissioner and co-chairperson of the coalition, said she hopes the symposium can start conversations about these lynchings, as many people may not know about them or choose not to talk about them. She said she thinks raising awareness to these historical events will additionally help promote cross-cultural understanding.
"What happened in the past affects the present and will affect our future," she said.
In Montgomery, Ala., the EJI has built a memorial for victims of lynching nationwide. It features over 800 columns of steel hanging from the ceiling at the National Memorial of Peace and Justice.
Each column represents one county in the United States where lynchings occurred. EJI provides duplicate steel pieces for counties that participate in an activity to remember the victims of lynching.
UNC professor Seth Kotch and Auburn University professor Elijah Gaddis started a website called "A Red Record" to compile documents of lynchings across North and South Carolina. The initiative attempts to identify the exact locations where they occurred and lists the names and dates of the victims.
"Publishing these names takes a small step toward recognizing their personhood in ways the public record does not," the website reads.
Horn said one of the most prominent lynchings that occurred in the county is of a Black man named Manly McCauley, which occurred in 1898. McCauley was accused of having a relationship with a white woman.
“I think that we still, as a nation and a region, have not come to terms with our own history," said Patrick Horn, associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC.