The community of St. Joseph in Buchanan County, Missouri intends to work with the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) Community Remembrance Project to memorialize Lloyd Warner, 19, who was lynched in the city in 1933. EJI collaborates with communities to memorialize documented victims of racial violence and foster meaningful dialogue about race and justice.
This site is an information repository for details related to the planned memorials to Lloyd Warner. It is intended to provide information to coalition and community members.
Soil Collection Event & Historical Marker
The mission of the Lloyd Warner Memorial Project is to educate and increase awareness, foster candid discussion, and accurately reflect and document the history of racial injustice and terror in St. Joseph and Buchanan County, Missouri. We will achieve this goal through educational programing, events, and dialogue with our community facilitated by local organizations dedicated to social justice.
The racial terror lynching that occurred in 1933 is not widely known by the community of St. Joseph. (What does racial terror lynching mean?) The story of Lloyd Warner’s life and death has not been passed on to the following generations, and it is our mission to make sure that St. Joseph remembers and memorializes his life. It is important to have a public recognition of this time in American history, and to start the conversations of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go to achieve racial justice in our nation.
All of the organizations involved have made diversity, equity, and inclusion a core part of their mission of engagement in the community of St. Joseph. These organizations are well versed in the topics of social justice. They all work to educate the public of its past, and encourage community members to shape their future for the better.
City of St. Joseph
Kiwanis St. Joseph
MidCity Excellence Com. Learning Center
Missouri Western State University
Missouri Western State University NAACP
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
St. Joseph Museums, Inc. - Black Archives Committee
St. Joseph Public Library
The Black Archives Museum, part of the St. Joseph Museums, Inc., has been researching the Lloyd Warner lynching for several years. The Black Archives’ goal is to educate and uplift the community through educational programming and exhibits.
St. Joseph was extremely divided during the Civil War. The city's most prominent citizens were high ranking officials in both the Union and Confederate armies, and nearly all owned slaves regardless of their position during the war. As such, there is a long legacy of Southern sympathizers and Confederate memorialization in the community. Despite prominent African American businessmen and doctors in the community at the turn of the century, the presence of deep-seated racism became prominent in the 1920s and in subsequent years. The Ku Klux Klan gained a foothold in St. Joseph in 1923 with a newspaper publication, parades, picnics, and conventions. Though they were eventually suppressed, it is easy to see the effect they had in the lynching that occurred ten years later.
Not long after the lynching, St. Joseph had one of the worst cases of redlining in the United States (What is redlining?), which factored into the suppression of the community. Fear and overtly racist policies kept the community down until the Civil Rights movement. There were several prominent Civil Rights activists that worked to push St. Joseph towards racial reform in education and business.
Despite this progress, St. Joseph remains divided. Redlining caused some neighborhoods to be deemed less suitable, so the business district of St. Joseph moved east, away from downtown. Redlining does great harm to communities, including trapping those areas in a cycle of poverty.
A History Speaks Video - series from the St. Joseph Public Library.
About EJI’s Community Remembrance Project
EJI’s Community Remembrance Project is part of their campaign to recognize the victims of lynching by collecting soil from lynching sites, erecting historical markers, and developing the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which acknowledges the horrors of racial injustice.
As part of their effort to help towns, cities, and states confront and recover from tragic histories of racial violence and terrorism, EJI is joining with communities to install historical markers in communities where the history of lynching is documented.
EJI believes that understanding the era of racial terror is a critical part of confronting the legacies and challenges that we currently face from mass incarceration, excessive punishment, police violence, and the presumption of guilt and dangerousness that burdens people of color today.