News Flash

Lawrenceville News & Announcements

Posted on: February 18, 2022

Charles Hale Memorial Marker in Downtown Lawrenceville

Bronze and blue historical marker

The Gwinnett Remembrance Coalition, in partnership with the City of Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, the Gwinnett Historical Restoration & Preservation Board, and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) of Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated a historical marker honoring the memory of Charles Hale. Mr. Hale, an African American resident of Gwinnett County, was lynched in 1911 in Lawrenceville Square.

Hale was initially arrested on the accusation of assaulting a white woman. An angry mob then stormed the jail, dragged him out to Lawrenceville Square, and murdered him. “It’s the most documented and most recent lynching that occurred in Gwinnett,” Gwinnett Remembrance Coalition member Steve Babb told the Gwinnett Daily Post. A photograph of Mr. Hale was widely distributed as a post card at the time.
The historical marker is located on the west side of Lawrenceville Square. This important memorial is an open recognition of the difficult history of the city and region. By creating a permanent record of this tragedy, Lawrenceville ensures that future generations will know the full history of their city. The memorial also reinforces present-day Gwinnettian’s commitment to overcoming their difficult past and building a more equitable and inclusive future. As Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said at a Juneteenth ceremony: “as we acknowledge the horrors of our past, I also want to celebrate the journey onward, and the fight of all those who led us to come so far.”

Community members and visitors are invited to visit the memorial at their convenience to learn about the history of lynchings and racial terror in Gwinnett County.

The Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony took place on Saturday, January 15, 2022. The program included a short memorial service, a dedication ceremony, and statements from Mr. Hale’s family and local elected officials from Gwinnett County and the City of Lawrenceville. The service also included the announcement by an EJI representative of the winners of a racial justice essay contest for students in Gwinnett County public high schools.

This ceremony followed a June 2021 event in which soil was collected near the spot where Mr. Hale was lynched. Jars containing this soil are displayed in Gwinnett County and at EJI’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery.

The historical marker and dedication was featured on Main Street America's 2022 Black History Month blog post. The City of Lawrenceville is a 2022 Main Street America Accredited Program, signifying its commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach. 

The purpose of the Lawrenceville Main Street Program is to provide an exceptional quality of life for the citizens and guests of Lawrenceville through a vibrant downtown and educational and cultural district while preserving the community's historic character.

Additional Info...
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Lawrenceville News & Announcements

Road Closure

Paper Mill Road Lane Closure

Posted on: May 2, 2022