On Wednesday, April 4 at 12 noon, Calvary Episcopal Church will host a “Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation.” The service will include reflections by Sarah Eiland, a Rhodes history major in the Class of 2020 who worked on the project; The Reverend Dorothy Wells, a 1982 graduate of Rhodes and the rector of St. George's Episcopal Church in Germantown, Tennessee; and The Reverend Scott Walters, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church. The Rhodes Singers will also participate. Near the conclusion of the service, we will read aloud the names of dozens of the men, women, and children who were sold at the site – names that a small group of Rhodes students have unearthed through careful research in local archives. After the service, the assembled crowd will move outside for the unveiling of the new marker, at which time President Marjorie Hass will offer a few remarks.
Fifty years ago, Dr. King came to Memphis to show solidarity with the city’s striking sanitation workers, who held signs that simply said “I am a Man.” By remembering the names of the enslaved and respecting the dignity of their lives, we will attempt to follow King’s example of lifting up the forgotten. We think the service and marker unveiling will be a powerful moment, intended to advance the cause of racial reconciliation in our community.