The Ed Johnson Memorial Dedication in Chattanooga, TN

The Ed Johnson Memorial Design, created by artist Jerome Meadows in 2018 | Photo via

Chattanooga’s Ed Johnson Memorial Dedication begins tomorrow. The multi-day event will explore the Ed Johnson story through the lens of history, art, storytelling, and remembrance.

A quick history lesson

Ed Johnson was an innocent Black man accused of assaulting a young woman in Chattanooga in 1906. While his case was taken to the Supreme Court, Johnson was dragged out of his cell and lynched on the Walnut Street Bridge. Read more about Ed Johnson’s court case + lawyers here.

Flash forward 115 years, and Chattanooga is unveiling a memorial in honor of Ed Johnson + 4 days of events in recognition of his story.


All events are free, though some require registration to attend. Masks are required at all events.

🗓️ Thurs., Sept. 16
  • Artist Talk: Jerome Meadows | 6-7 p.m. | Hunter Museum | The memorial’s lead artist will discuss the importance of public art + its purpose within our shared spaces and places.
🗓️ Fri., Sept. 17
  • Q+A with Jerome Meadows | 5-6:30 p.m. | The Bethlehem Center, 200 W. 38th St. | This talk specifically geared toward local students + families will include dinner and discussion with artist Jerome Meadows.
  • Keynote Lecture + History Roundtable Discussion | 5:30-7:45 p.m. | The Camp House, 806 E. 12th St. | Learn from a keynote about the history of lynchings and anti-Black violence + roundtable discussion about the significance of the memorial. | Registration required
🗓️ Sat., Sept. 18 
  • Colors of Our World Storytime | 10-11 a.m. | Chattanooga Public Library, downtown branch | Kids will enjoy stories + activities while parents participate in a Q+A on how to answer tough questions from kids regarding race and racism.
  • The Legacy of Lynching + the Soul of America | 5-6 p.m. | Olivet Baptist Church, 740 E. MLK Blvd. | Jon Meacham + Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. will join in this conversation. | Registration Required
🗓️ Sun., Sept. 19
  • Ed Johnson Memorial Dedication | 3-4:30 p.m. | Walnut Plaza | The dedication will culminate in an unveiling of the 3 bronze sculptures + a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge.
  • Ed Johnson Memorial Gathering | 5-6:30 p.m. | Walker Pavilion, Coolidge Park | This gathering will feature a drum circle, spoken word, and dance performances by local artists.