Apology and atonement ceremony held for 1912 Columbus hate crime - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Apology and atonement ceremony held for 1912 Columbus hate crime


On Aug. 13, 1912, a young black male named TZ McElhaney, possibly only 14-years-old, was taken from a Muscogee County Supreme Courtroom by a mob, and was shot between 25 and 50 times at the bottom of Wynn's Hill.

In November of the same year four men were charged with the murder, but the jury found them not guilty.   

Over 100 years later, on Aug. 13, 2014, the Columbus Black History Museum held an apology and atonement ceremony with hopes to begin the healing process for harmony and facilitate an end to racism in Columbus.

John Land, a distant relative of one of the mob members, addressed a room filled with people, and said this is a shared legacy as a community, and racism still persists.

"I don't feel that they have been properly righted," Land told News Leader 9. "I don't feel that the social ills have been corrected. They continue with us today. Discrimination is still with us."

He went on to say that wehave to address inequities in the present day.

Land has been researchinghis family history for 25 years. He had found no mention of this incident, andhe wanted to shed light on it. 

The ceremony ended with a wreath being laid at the site where the teen was killed.

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