The Events

Who was Ed Johnson? Documentary Screening

When: 4 p.m. CDT, Sunday, Sept. 16

Where: Gailor Auditorium, University of the South, 735 University Ave., Sewanee, Tenn.

Admission: Free and open to the public

Livestream: Watch a livestream of the event here.

The Lynching of Ed Johnson in Historical Perspective lecture

When: 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 17

Where: Derthick Hall Room 101, UTC

Admission: Free and open to the public

Livestream: Watch a livestream of the event here.

The Legacy of Lynching in American Life lecture

When: 4:30 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, Sept. 18

Where: Convocation Hall, University of the South, 735 University Ave., Sewanee, Tenn.

Admission: Free and open to the public

Livestream: Watch a livestream of the event here.

UTC’s Department of History is collaborating with the University of the South in Sewanee to host a series of events titled “The Lynching of Ed Johnson in Chattanooga: A Critical Discussion of the History of Racial Violence in the U.S.”

In 1906, Ed Johnson, an African American man from Chattanooga, was unjustly convicted of raping a white woman and sentenced to death. When the U.S. Supreme Court intervened with a stay of execution, a mob of whites stormed the jail, took Johnson and hanged him from the Walnut Street Bridge. His last words were, “God bless you all, I am a innocent man.”

Taking place on both campuses, the events in the new series include a documentary screening and lectures featuring Illinois State University’s Amy Wood, award-winning historian and professor of post-Civil War American cultural history and the history of the U.S. South.

“We think this event series can bring different intellectual communities together, share the historical knowledge about the Ed Johnson lynching with a larger audience, and inspire awareness about continuing issues surrounding racial injustices in the Chattanooga area today,” says Susan Eckelmann Berghel, assistant professor of history and director of Africana studies at UTC.

The series is sponsored by the Project on Slavery, Race, & Reconciliation at the University of the South, the UTC History Department and Africana Studies Program and the Ed Johnson Project. For more information, contact Dr. Susan Eckelmann Berghel at Susan-Eckelmann@utc.edu.

Amy Wood

Professor Wood specializes in post-Civil War American cultural history and the history of the U.S. South. She is the author of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) which examines visual representations of lynching and the construction of white supremacy in the Jim Crow era. Lynching and Spectacle won the Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History. She also is the co-guest editor of issue of Mississippi Quarterly on lynching, representation, and memory (2008), the editor of the volume on violence for the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Her edited collection, Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South, will be published in 2019 by the University of Illinois Press. She is currently working on a book project on cultural ideas about criminality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call (423) 425-4363.
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Sarah is a staff writer in UTC's Office of Communications and Marketing.

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