Last month, Alexandria residents and city leaders honored the legacy of Joseph McCoy by placing a wreath at the location of his lynching at the corner of Cameron and Lee Streets in Old Town. Within 36 hours, that wreath was stolen, and on Saturday a group of determined residents placed a new wreath at the site.
“Mr. McCoy was killed, murdered, by the act of hate,” MacArthur Myers told ALXnow. “We can’t bring him back, but we can be a voice for him from now on. God has given us two powerful words to express emotion — hate and love. Let the healing begin with love, which is so much more powerful.”
More than a dozen residents attended the brief ceremony. The 19-year-old McCoy was arrested without a warrant and then murdered 123 years ago, on April 23, 1897, by a mob of white residents who stormed the Police House (now City Hall), where McCoy was being held after being accused of sexually assaulting three women. He was shot, stabbed and hanged from a lamppost.
McCoy’s death is one of two lynchings that took place in Alexandria. The other was 20-year-old Benjamin Thomas, who was shot to death and hanged the following year by a mob of residents at Fairfax Street near King Street.
No one was arrested for their deaths.
McCoy and Thomas have been included in the Equal Justice Initiative Community Remembrance Project. Their names have been added to a steel pillar representing lynchings that occurred in the city — just one of more than 800 pillars representing 4,743 terror lynching victims around the country.
Since last year, the city has been in the process of bringing its EJI pillar home from Montgomery, Alabama.
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.