INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis pastor said a sign in front of his church with images of a lynching and slaves in chains is meant to remind people of the importance of their voting rights.

One side of the sign outside Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church features a photo of the 1930 lynching of two black men before a crowd of white people in Marion, Ind. "VOTE!!!" is written about the image, and beneath it: "Is this a reason to vote?"

Rev. Joy Thorton, who is black, said he has heard few complaints since the sign went up about a week ago.

"I think there is a sense of complacency about the price that was paid for one of the most precious rights we have, and that is the right to vote," Thornton told WRTV. "That sign serves as a historical reminder."

The sign along busy 38th Street amid a typically lower-income neighborhood on the city's east side has drawn varied reactions.

Joyce Hise, the president of nearby Discount Casket Sales, said the sign delivered an important message.

"It is disturbing, however, it's a part of history," said Hise, who is black. "It's a part of history that we have to remember."

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3 thoughts on “Church Sign on Slavery and Lynching Causes Controversy

  1. I think that the pastor was only trying to display the brutal and ugly truth of racism back in the day and the present day,and wanted to remind black folks that we need to VOTE because so many died in the past as a result of those who fought for that right.There is definately an agenda to bring back those days when life was extremely hard for us.We see how some states brought out these bogus voter ID laws to supress and disenfrancise the black vote in order to unseat President Obama.And it also supresses some white voters especially those who support the democratic ticket and the President.So I applaud the pastor of that church who had the courage and boldness to speak and show the truth.

  2. newsjunkie50 on said:

    I agree with the sign, i think it should be put up all over the country so black folks can remind themselves of the people who died for the right to vote.

  3. I think that from time to time we need reminders of the price our fore fathers paid for certain rights that we take for granted today. Education is another big one. The Little Rock Nine’s symbolic action has somehow been lost. Please don’t forget the 381 days of the bus boycott. The youth today go straight to the back of the bus to get the “good seat”. SMH!!

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