Vigil Planned to Remember Salisbury Lynching Victim - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Vigil Planned to Remember Salisbury Lynching Victim

Posted: Updated:
Outside of Wicomico County Courthouse where Matthew Williams was lynched in 1931. (Photo: SURJ Delmarva) Outside of Wicomico County Courthouse where Matthew Williams was lynched in 1931. (Photo: SURJ Delmarva)

SALISBURY, Md.- Dec. 4 will mark the 85th anniversary of one of the darkest moments in Salisbury's history.  But one local organization is making a point to not only remember the past, but use it as a tool to help the community grow closer together in the future.

James Yamakawa is the head organizer for the Delmarva chapter of the group "Showing Up for Racial Justice."  Outside of the old courthouse in downtown Salisbury on Thursday, Yamakawa recalled the 85-year-old story of Matthew Williams, an African-American man from Salisbury.

"They basically took him from PGH, Peninsula General, all the way up Division Street to a large tree in front of the Wicomico County Courthouse and they hung him. And afterward they took his body and dragged it through the black neighborhood of Salisbury,  Isabella Avenue and all around there. Then they dosed him with 40 gallons of gasoline and burned him," Yamakawa said.

Williams was accused of shooting and killing his boss and wounding himself during the altercation.  Yamakawa said while this incident, the lynching and burning of Williams, may be a low point in local history, it is important to remember and acknowledge the past.

"Even though we weren't there, we have a responsibility to each other," Yamakawa said.  "We have a responsibility to basically know that we are part of something even if we don't want to be."

And while remembering and shedding light on a dark moment in history may be difficult, Yamakawa and his group believe it could go a long way in healing any divides in the future.

"You have to be able to speak the truth in order to know where we are.  And in order to come together again, we have to be willing to ask for forgiveness."

The vigil Sunday will begin at 7 p.m. at the corner of Carroll  and Division streets across from the hospital.  The group will walk to the courthouse and observe a moment of silence.  The Facebook page for the event can be found here.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:11 AM EDT2018-09-22 07:11:01 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:16 AM EDT2018-09-22 07:16:27 GMT
    Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)
    Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)
    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners.More
    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners. More
  • Investigation Finds Maryland Culpable in Death of Player

    Investigation Finds Maryland Culpable in Death of Player

    Saturday, September 22 2018 12:08 AM EDT2018-09-22 04:08:32 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 12:08 AM EDT2018-09-22 04:08:32 GMT
    An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field.More
    An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field.More
  • Dorchester County Volunteers Gear Up for Ironman Maryland

    Dorchester County Volunteers Gear Up for Ironman Maryland

    Friday, September 21 2018 9:39 PM EDT2018-09-22 01:39:17 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 9:39 PM EDT2018-09-22 01:39:17 GMT
    Dorchester County is gearing up for Ironman Maryland. The event is set to kick off at Great Marsh Park next weekend.More
    Dorchester County is gearing up for Ironman Maryland. The event is set to kick off at Great Marsh Park next weekend.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Kent County Man Shot While in His Yard

    Kent County Man Shot While in His Yard

    Friday, September 21 2018 6:20 PM EDT2018-09-21 22:20:00 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 6:23 PM EDT2018-09-21 22:23:48 GMT
    Credit: WBOCCredit: WBOC
    Credit: WBOCCredit: WBOC
    Delaware State Police are investigating a incident that occurred on September 20, where a man from Magnolia, Delaware was shot while trying to bring his dog inside.More
    Delaware State Police are investigating a incident that occurred on September 20, where a man from Magnolia, Delaware was shot while trying to bring his dog inside. More
  • Search For Suspects Domino's Pizza Burglary In Dover

    Search For Suspects Domino's Pizza Burglary In Dover

    Friday, September 21 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-09-21 20:40:48 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-09-21 20:40:48 GMT
    Dover police is investigating the burglary of a Domino's Pizza early Friday morning.More
    Dover police is investigating the burglary of a Domino's Pizza early Friday morning.More
  • Whale Skull Recovered from Pickering Beach in Kent County

    Whale Skull Recovered from Pickering Beach in Kent County

    Friday, September 21 2018 7:10 PM EDT2018-09-21 23:10:16 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 7:10 PM EDT2018-09-21 23:10:16 GMT
    A whale skull was recovered from Pickering Beach on Friday.A whale skull was recovered from Pickering Beach on Friday.
    A whale skull was recovered from Pickering Beach on Friday.A whale skull was recovered from Pickering Beach on Friday.
    PICKERING BEACH, Del. --- The skull of a deceased juvenile whale that washed up along the Kent County coast last year was recovered on Friday at Pickering Beach by staffers with the Delaware Museum of Natural History. The whale initially turned up at PortMore
    PICKERING BEACH, Del. --- The skull of a deceased juvenile whale that washed up along the Kent County coast last year was recovered on Friday at Pickering Beach by staffers with the Delaware Museum of Natural History. The whale initially turned up at PortMore
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices