Appearances are everything down South, part of the region’s noted cordiality and social decorum. Yet on coastal Alabama’s Mobile Bay, a group of residents is determined to peel back their languid locale’s veneer of colonnaded mansions and Spanish moss-draped oaks to confront the proverbial “ugliness that cuts to the bone.” And to build something better from those truths.
A cross-section of faces spanning age, sex and race popped onto computer screens and launched into friendly banter. Finally, a woman’s voice quelled them and asked for committee reports.
It is the Mobile County Remembrance Project’s monthly online meeting, 20-plus activists driven onto the technological forum that defines group efforts in the COVID-19 era. They aim to erect markers honoring local lynching victims murdered from 1877 to 1950, a venture conducted in cooperation with Montgomery’s Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).