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Victims of 1942 lynching honored through Sikeston Soil Collection Project

Sikeston played host to the Soil Collection Project which honors victims of lynching attacks.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:02 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Between the end of the Civil War and end of World War II, thousands of African Americans were lynched in the United States in violent and public acts.

Today, victims are being honored and remembered through the Soil Collection Project.

The group travels to communities across the nation to collect soil from every lynching site in an effort to remember the victims.

The Soil Collection Project was in Sikeston to remember Cleo Wright, a cotton mill worker who was presumed guilty of a crime and lynched by a mob.

A ceremony was held at the site where Cleo died which is just a few blocks from the Lincoln building.

Wright’s great grandson, Michael Snider, was in attendance as well.

Snider said he was grateful for all the support

“I’m very grateful for the ones who actually came out and told their stories,” Snider said. “And for the ones that actually told their sides of the story for the elders who were actually there and that have been interviewed by the documentary people they gave their account and probably besides their kids this is the first time others are hearing what actually happened. So I’m happy and grateful for that.”

In total, four jars of dirt were collected:

  • One jar went to the family of Cleo Wright
  • Another stays in Sikeston
  • Another goes to Kansas City, Mo.
  • And the last one goes to a museum in Montgomery, Mo.

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