Memorial Marks 87th Anniversary of Williams' Lynching in Salisbu - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Memorial Marks 87th Anniversary of Williams' Lynching in Salisbury

Posted: Updated:
Memorial marking 87th anniversary of the lynching of Matthew Williams Memorial marking 87th anniversary of the lynching of Matthew Williams

SALISBURY, Md. – Flowers were laid beneath a memorial for Matthew Williams, an African-American who was lynched by an angry mob of white men outside the old Wicomico County courthouse 87 years ago Tuesday.

On Dec. 4, 1931, Williams was taken from his hospital bed, dragged to the old courthouse on Division Street and hanged after being accused of killing his employer during a dispute over wages.

James Yamakawa, a community activist in Salisbury, knows the story of Williams’ death well.

“They took him to the front of the courthouse,” said Yamakawa. “They hung him, they tortured him and they eventually cut his body down, dragged his body through the black neighborhood of Salisbury and burned his body."

Yamakawa, who set up the memorial, has been fighting to have a historical marker of Williams’ death placed outside the old courthouse. Yamakawa believes this dark spot in Wicomico County’s history has had lasting effects on race relations.

"People whose families are still here have stories in their families of this happening and they're not allowed to talk about it. So it does affect how society has been formed today," he said.

The only way to move forward, according to Yamakawa, is to talk about the past. "Do I want it to bring people together? Absolutely,” he said. “I want so badly for people to come together and to accept this history and to use it to go forward together.”

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • M&H Restaurant to Close on August 31st

    M&H Restaurant to Close on August 31st

    Tuesday, August 20 2019 4:51 PM EDT2019-08-20 20:51:29 GMT
    Tuesday, August 20 2019 4:51 PM EDT2019-08-20 20:51:29 GMT
    M&H has served breakfast and lunch off of Union Street Ext. since 1953. It will serve it's final meal on August 31st.More
    M&H has served breakfast and lunch off of Union Street Ext. since 1953. It will serve it's final meal on August 31st. More
  • Magnolia-Area Communities Concerned Over Break-Ins, Thefts

    Magnolia-Area Communities Concerned Over Break-Ins, Thefts

    Tuesday, August 20 2019 6:37 PM EDT2019-08-20 22:37:41 GMT
    Tuesday, August 20 2019 6:37 PM EDT2019-08-20 22:37:41 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- Residents in a number of Magnolia-area neighborhoods say they're hoping for fewer break-ins and thefts they say have been increasing in recent months. Ivy Elliott of Riverside said someone broke into her neighbors' garage just a few weeksMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Residents in a number of Magnolia-area neighborhoods say they're hoping for fewer break-ins and thefts they say have been increasing in recent months. Ivy Elliott of Riverside said someone broke into her neighbors' garage just a few weeks More
  • Deadly Head-on Collision Under Investigation in Md.

    Deadly Head-on Collision Under Investigation in Md.

    Tuesday, August 20 2019 7:14 AM EDT2019-08-20 11:14:00 GMT
    Tuesday, August 20 2019 9:07 AM EDT2019-08-20 13:07:37 GMT
    Maryland State Police are investigating a Monday night crash in Kent County, Md., that resulted in the death of a driver.More
    Maryland State Police are investigating a Monday night crash in Kent County, Md., that resulted in the death of a driver.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices