The Union County Community Remembrance Project (UCCRP) has fabricated a new historical marker for the Union County Jail that will be unveiled during a special ceremony at the UCCRP JUNETEENTH Celebration on Saturday, June 19, 2021. The new marker will recognize the historical significance and legacy of the jail raid lynchings of 1871. South Carolina Humanities supported this effort with a Mini Grant.
The Union County Community Remembrance Project developed as a way to address the history of racial terrorism, violence, and lynching in Union County, South Carolina. The group’s vision is to foster ongoing collaborative education, justice, and healing. Current research has documented a staggering 22 victims of lynching in Union County – from the Union County Jail Raid in 1871 through lynchings as late as 1934. UCCRP will place three historical markers in downtown Union to publicly commemorate victims of racial violence, the one at the Union County Jail as well as two funded by the Equal Justice Initiative
The Union County Jail Raid was one of the largest Klan jail raids in the southeast. Twelve black men were abducted from the jail by white men and were murdered on the town’s outskirts. The current marker does not mention the lynching and focuses on the jail’s architecture. The new marker will not replace the old marker but seeks to tell a fuller story.
The unveiling will take place as part of the Union County Community Remembrance Project’s inaugural JUNETEENTH Celebration on Saturday, June 19 at 12:30 p.m. at the L.W. Long Community Resource Center and old Union County Jail (213 W Main St, Union SC 29379). The program will feature speeches from UCCRP Co-Leads and Leadership Team, Union Mayor Harold Thompson, and representatives from the Equal Justice Initiative, among others. Descendants of lynching victims will be honored as special guests and centered throughout the program.
For more information about the Union County Community Remembrance Project and the 2021 UCCRP JUNETEENTH Celebration, visit the website at: https://www.unioncountycrp.com/juneteenth.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.