On September 6, 1861, 24-year-old George Marshall Clark and one other Black man, James Shelton, had been arrested after an altercation with two white males, Dabney Carney and John Brady.
The struggle ended after Shelton stabbed Carney and slashed Brady. Carney recognized Shelton as his assailant earlier than he died the subsequent day.
A white mob stormed town jail quickly after Carney’s demise. On September 8, as Shelton hid, Clark was kidnapped and lynched in Milwaukee’s Third Ward on the nook of Water and Buffalo streets. After his physique was reduce down, he was taken to Forest Dwelling Cemetery and buried in an unmarked grave in a public lot.
160 years later, on September 8, 2021, the burial website lastly was marked with a correct gravestone due to the efforts of native artist and activist Tyrone Randle, Jr. and Forest Dwelling Cemetery.
“It form of stirs me slightly bit to see this many our bodies out right here who care concerning the schooling behind this,” stated Randle, as he regarded out to the gang of about 100 individuals gathered on the cemetery.
Randle first researched George Marshall Clark in the summertime of 2020, alongside together with his associate Aadya Wynter, after they had been planning a march to the grave website. Nonetheless, after they found Clark’s grave was unmarked, it grew to become Randle’s mission to lift the funds wanted to memorialize Clark with a gravestone.
“It is simple to simply act like one thing does not exist if you cannot see it. So the truth that it is tangible…that really occurred. I can go and I can say, like, that is a physique within the floor,” Randle famous. “I believe individuals want to have the ability to see that.”
Forest Dwelling Cemetery gross sales counselor Garen Morris was working the day that Randle was looking for Clark’s burial website. Collectively, they combed by way of internment information and bodily mapped out the place the grave was positioned.
“I hate to place it as any grave that lastly will get marked makes me really feel good, however to know that that is one which has an enormous historic worth to the neighborhood, to this cemetery, and to our peace of thoughts to know that subsequent time we need to discover this, it will be simple,” stated Morris. “And that gravestone is only a small piece of telling a narrative.”
1 of 4
— DSC01172 copy.jpg
Tyrone Randle (heart, in black masks and blue coat) and Adaya Wynter (proper of Randle) first got here to Forest Dwelling Cemetery in 2020 searching for George Marshall Clark’s grave. On September 8, 2021, they sat among the many crowd gathered on the cemetery to pay tribute to Clark’s life and unveil a gravestone.
2 of 4
— DSC01184 copy.jpg
Pardeep Singh Kaleka, govt director of the Interfaith Convention of Better Milwaukee, known as for justice, therapeutic, and reflection on the methods we perpetuate racial injustice at present.
3 of 4
— DSC01193 copy.jpg
Alverno Faculty scholar Tracey Sparks sings “Unusual Fruit” for the ceremony at Milwaukee’s Forest Dwelling Cemetery.
4 of 4
— DSC01205 copy.jpg
Flags marked the trail from Forest Dwelling Cemetery’s Victorian Backyard the place the ceremony was held to the gravesite of George Marshall Clark for the gravestone unveiling.
Randle and Morris stated it was a demanding course of to ensure they may dedicate a gravestone in time for the anniversary. Amongst a few of the last-minute modifications was the fabric used: American black granite.
“Possibly it is even unintended, however ‘American black’ that sounds fairly becoming, proper, for the state of affairs. So I believe that was fairly cool,” stated Randle.
Morris added that in addition they found that the granite used for the gravestone was quarried from Clark’s house state of Pennsylvania.
The ceremony to unveil Clark’s gravestone was held by Forest Dwelling Cemetery and America’s Black Holocaust Museum. Neighborhood leaders, historians and activists had been amongst these gathered within the cemetery’s Victorian Backyard on a transparent afternoon, surrounded by numerous bushes and headstones, giant and small.
America’s Black Holocaust Museum President & CEO Dr. Robert Smith stated that whereas it’s painful to go over this brutal occasion, it’s essential.
“The factor about historical past and telling the reality about historical past is it brings about a specific amount of understanding and dignity, fairly frankly,” he stated. “And so now [George Marshall Clark’s] story is being instructed, and so it will hopefully spark some curiosity with particularly a few of our youthful generations to say, what else have we not been instructed?”
Educator and public historian Reggie Jackson was one of many audio system for the revealing and memorial. For him, it was essential that the neighborhood memorialize Clark the person, not the lynching sufferer.
“Let’s consider what we’re doing for George Marshall Clark tonight, not being a celebration of the truth that we’re acknowledging this lynching. However then we’re celebrating his life that was ended by that lynching,” Jackson stated.
Hearken to extra
Hearken to the prolonged protection of the dedication to George Marshall Clark’s gravestone featured on Lake Impact.
Jackson stated that Clark was, from all accounts, a popular younger man in the neighborhood. He was studying to develop into a barber beneath his father George, who owned a barber store in Milwaukee. Jackson additionally famous that Clark’s life intersected with an attention-grabbing time in our state’s historical past.
Wisconsin was a free state with a singular abolitionist angle, refusing to implement the Fugitive Slave Act. The rescue of Joshua Glover, a Black man who escaped slavery in St. Louis to freedom in Racine in 1852, was a testomony to this.
“Now, are you able to think about being a Milwaukeean and at the moment, being a metropolis that had celebrated a gaggle of residents who went into Milwaukee to free a Black man who had been wrongly jailed within the Milwaukee County Jail, a narrative that all of us have a good time. But, just some years later, a distinct group broke into that very same jail with utterly totally different intentions,” famous Jackson.
Jackson stated Clark’s lynching is a stain on Milwaukee’s historical past that isn’t extensively identified.
“College students in Milwaukee do not be taught the story of George Marshall Clark’s lynching…It is time we begin educating all of them that starting at present…We have now to grasp the racial animus that led to that struggle, and the racial animus that led to the lynching. It is nonetheless alive and properly at present sadly, 160 years later,” Jackson stated.
Jackson continued, “We have to embrace the variety of our neighborhood, in order that we are able to start to work on not essentially racial restore and reconciliation, however conversations that result in racial restore and reconciliation…I do know that if George Marshall Clark had been right here at present, he would say one thing alongside these traces: ‘I am actually unhappy that issues haven’t modified as a lot as they need to have within the final 160 years.'”
Interfaith Convention of Better Milwaukee govt director Pardeep Singh Kaleka known as for justice and therapeutic — and for individuals to replicate on the methods they perpetuate racial injustice at present.
“It’s properly understood that our nation has its roots in racialized non secular and ethnic violence. Our foundational grime is so dirty in bloodshed, that it is a marvel that grass nonetheless grows, and bushes nonetheless blossom,” he stated. “However they do. And so do Black households, so does Black love, and so does Black brilliance. However that doesn’t imply that we are able to ignore Black ache, nor be absolved of our personal duty in inflicting it.”
1 of 7
— DSC01215 copy.jpg
Attendees of the occasion walked from the Victorian Backyard to George Marshall Clark’s burial website in Part 17 of Forest Dwelling Cemetery. Every individual was handed a flower by cemetery employees to later place on the gravestone.
2 of 7
— DSC01212 copy.jpg
Forest Dwelling Cemetery employees hand out flowers to all attendees of the George Marshall Clark dedication as they stroll in direction of the gravesite to pay their respects.
3 of 7
— DSC01216 copy.jpg
Flowers for attendees of the gravestone dedication stand on the able to be later positioned on the gravestone for George Marshall Clark, Milwaukee’s solely identified lynching sufferer who was killed in 1861.
4 of 7
— DSC01235 copy.jpg
Reverend Teresa Howell-Smith of Plymouth United Church of Christ blesses George Marshall Clark’s gravestone. Tyrone Randle, (heart) Adaya Wynter (left) and Kamila Ahmed (far left) stand beside the gravesite.
5 of 7
— DSC01260 copy.jpg
Folks gathered at Forest Dwelling Cemetery for the George Marshall Clark dedication on Sept. 8 line as much as place flowers on the newly unveiled headstone. Clark was killed by lynching 160 years in the past on Sept. 8, 1861 in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.
6 of 7
— Graveside flowers
Individuals who attended the dedication of George Marshall Clark’s gravestone take turns laying a flower at his grave.
7 of 7
— DSC01249 copy.jpg
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas salutes George Marshall Clark after laying a flower on the newly unveiled gravestone.
After remarks concluded, individuals walked from the Victorian Backyard to Part 17 of Forest Dwelling Cemetery to assemble round Clark’s gravesite. Tyrone Randle stood behind the gravestone, which was lined in an emerald fabric.
“I’m emotional. I’m completely satisfied, however I am additionally at a spot the place I do know that this work’s not completed. There are much more Black figures who’ve completed nice work who’re nonetheless left unnoticed, and I believe that’s one thing that should change. It is one thing that’s essential for Black youngsters to have heroes to look as much as, particularly on this metropolis…I am completely satisfied that this has come to a conclusion for Marshall, and the work’s not completed, y’all,” stated Randle.
1 of 3
— DSC01239 copy.jpg
Activist Tyrone Randle lays the primary flower on the newly unveiled gravestone of George Marhsall Clark.
2 of 3
— DSC01267 copy.jpg
Tyrone Randle (heart, proper) and Adaya Wynter (heart, left) observe a second of silence on the gravesite of George Marshall Clark after neighborhood members laid flowers on the newly unveiled gravestone.
3 of 3
— DSC01285 copy.jpg
Tyrone Randle (kneeling) together with Milwaukee neighborhood members proudly collect round George Marshall Clark’s gravestone after the dedication ceremony concluded.
The fabric was pulled away, displaying a black granite gravestone that reads:
George Marshall Clark
July 1st, 1837
September eighth, 1861
Devoted on September eighth, 2021
Lest We Neglect
The marker was blessed, and every individual on the ceremony laid a flower on the gravestone, lastly paying respect to a person’s life taken.
window.fbAsyncInit = function()
appId : ‘4095511677171674’,
xfbml : true,
version : ‘v2.9’
(function(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s);
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”;
(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));