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Journey begins: #cvillepilgrimage commemorates, reclaims local lynching
C-VILLE Weekly Saturday, July 07, 2018 at 7:27 p.m.

About 50 people gathered in the woods beside the train tracks running west of Charlottesville early July 7. The morning was cool and birds could be heard chirping in the quiet—a scene nothing like the one 120 years ago, when a mob yanked John Henry James off a train there at Wood’s Crossing and strung him up on a locust tree.

“Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world.” The Reverend Brenda Brown-Grooms sang the Mahalia Jackson spiritual as participants contemplated the violence that had taken place on the site.

The occasion was to gather soil from property now owned by Farmington Country Club, the first step of a pilgrimage in which approximately 100 Charlottesville citizens will transport it to the recently opened lynching memorial in Montgomery, Alabama—the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial to Peace and Justice.

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