Race relations, remembrance part of weekend in Lowndes

By Mark Rogers

The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Community Remembrance Coalition has a big weekend of events planned as it hosts its “Race Relationships & Remembrance Conversations” on May 3 and May 4.

Vice President Katanga Mants said the event is designed to bring the community together and recognize and acknowledge the past as well as promote healing and reconciliation for the future.

“We are trying to get two things done,” she said. “We want to bring the cenotaph here and we want to have conversations about race. We’re trying to have two conversations – one with adults and another with youth. Sometimes youth open up better when they are by themselves. Sometimes youth have better solutions because adults may have hidden agendas. Kids aren’t as judgmental. They are a little more open and maybe a little more liberal giving them that platform.”

On Friday night, the “Let’s come Together Mixer” will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Hayneville Senior Center located at 215 Tuskeena St. The “Race Relations Conversation” adult and youth sessions will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Hayneville Middle School, located at 101 West Lafayette St.

“The youth and adults will be in separate locations,” Mants said. “That way each group can be a little more forward and remove the barriers. On Friday night, we want to pull down some walls. Let’s be open and honest about trying to talk about things that need to be talked about.”

The events are free and open to anyone that wants to contribute to the conversation, according to Mants. For questions about the events, those interested can contact LCFCRM President Arthur L. Nelson Sr. at (334) 315-3141 or Vice President Katanga Mants at (334) 507-0940 or email lcfcrm@yahoo.com

“We’re excited and looking forward to it,” Mants said. “We were planning for about 50 people to attend. We want students from public and private schools, and we’re hoping they’ll be there.”

Mants added that the group is also working on another project in Lowndes County.

“We’re working with EJI (Equal Justice Initiative) to put up additional historical markers,” she concluded. “We have three locations where we would like to remember the 16 or 17 people who were lynched in Lowndes County. This is part of an EJI project and part of Alabama’s bicentennial.”