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Alexandria hosting memorial ceremony for lynching victim this weekend

Memorial post for victims of Alexandria lynchings (photo via City of Alexandria)

Alexandria is holding a community reflection meeting on Saturday (April 23) in remembrance of the 125th anniversary of Joseph McCoy’s lynching.

McCoy, a Black resident of Alexandria, was killed by a lynch mob at the corner of Lee and Cameron streets in 1897. The remembrance ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Market Square (301 King Street).

“At the remembrance event, community members will recognize the 1897 lynching of Joseph McCoy and the terror it spread throughout the African American community,” a city release noted. “The ceremony will remember McCoy, affirm responsibility for these acts of racial terror, and continue our work to reconcile our past with our present… A procession from Market Square to the corner of Cameron and Lee will conclude the service.”

The annual remembrance ceremony is part of an ongoing effort by the City of Alexandria to reckon with the history of racial violence in Alexandria.

“McCoy’s death was one of two documented lynchings in Alexandria, out of 11 that occurred in Northern Virginia, and among the 100 documented lynchings that occurred in the Commonwealth between 1882 and 1968,” the release said.

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