Touching Memorial Service Held to Honor Black Women Who Were Lynched

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Event coordinator Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett hosted an event titled In Remembrance of Our Sisters 150 Black Women Who Were Lynched in the US Between 1870-1957.


By Yolanda Spivey

Despite the inclement weather, the memorial to honor the 150 documented lynchings of Black women during the 19th and 20th centuries proceeded as scheduled on March 30 in Philadelphia, PA.

The event, titled “In Remembrance of Our Sisters: 150 Black Women Who Were Lynched in the U.S. Between 1870-1957,” brought out 25 attendees — including men, women, and children.

Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, one of the event organizers, had planned to postpone the ceremony the night before due to the poor weather but decided against it. “Rain didn’t stop those  people from lynching us!” she said.

The event brought people in from all over the United States.  One attendee traveled all the way from New York City.  Although she missed the beginning of the event, she was happy to be there.

Nnamdi Azikiwe, co-organizer of the event, stated “There were people that came there but didn’t know the whole details on what we were presenting to them. Once Kai (Jewett) explained to them why we were there, they were amazed. There are people who know that this atrocity happened and then there are people who don’t know.”

Both Jewett and Azikiwe said that it felt as if a burden or weight had been lifted off of them.

Jewett stated, “At the end we all felt uplifted. As we prayed to heal our lynched sisters, we too were healed.” She continued: “It had stopped raining, but poured when we began calling the names, like the Angels were crying!”

Some event attendees even suggested that the libation ceremony be held annually.  For now, Jewett thinks this is a good idea and is considering it. “The people stated we should do this every year so the last Sunday in March we are going to do this and next time we are going to do this all over the country,” she said.

Jewett told Your Black World that as they prayed to heal the women who were lynched, the crowd of people in turn was being healed too.  She said, “The rituals to heal our communities need to be done. Many are hurting. We all agree that this is the beginning of a new spiritual awakening and awareness of our Ancestral traditions.  Performing these rituals are very important for the survival and healing of African American communities in America.”

The event organizers thanked Your Black WorldWURD radio listeners, and the Westside Weekly who broadcasted the event to its readers and listeners.

Below is footage from the event showing the end of the ceremony where the reading of the names of the 150 women were taking place.  Viewing it is quite emotional.

Video courtesy of TransAtlantic Productions.

Yolanda Spivey writes on a variety of topics and is the founder of Black Insurance News. She can be reached at or  you can visit her Facebook page.