Although COVID-19 has impacted the 2020 Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Day of Remembrance, there are several virtual events planned to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Duluth lynchings.

On June 15, 1920, in response to a rape allegation that was never found to have merit, a mob of Duluthians broke into the police station and ultimately lynched three black circus workers: Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie.

Originally the CJM Memorial board had planned to gather 10,000 people into the streets of Duluth on the 100th anniversary, however the coronavirus pandemic has pushed this main event to be postponed until 2021.

“It is not feasible for the health, safety, and recovery of our community,” a news release stated. “With the recent murder of George Floyd and all that has transpired around the world in response, it is important to create safe spaces for our community.”

The organization is working with DanSan Creatives to create and release a documentary crafted in collaboration with black, indigenous and people of color community voices. There will be a Facebook watch of the documentary on Monday, June 15.

In the meantime, CJM will commemorate the lives of the three men with several events. All online events will be held on the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Facebook page.

Monday, June 8

Community mural and documentary filming

3-8 p.m., Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial

Community members are invited to participate in the creation of a mural of George Floyd which will be displayed near the memorial at the corner of First Street and Second Avenue East in Duluth. There will also be opportunities for people to give voice in response to the issue of police brutality. COVID-19 precautions are crucial.

Saturday, June 13

“Just Mercy” Facebook watch party and panel discussion

5-9 p.m., online

A Facebook watch party of the film “Just Mercy” followed by a public discussion on critical issues affecting justice in the community. “Just Mercy” addresses inequality, injustice and the systemic breakdown of the criminal justice system. Warner Brothers Studio has made the film free to watch through June. It’s available for free at YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play. Following the showing, a panel discussion will be held on the CJM Facebook page.

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