A local Pilgrimage for Racial Justice location focuses on 1890s Roanoke lynching site

ROANOKE, Va.- – The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia is holding a two day pilgrimage for racial justice

It retraces five historic locations along the slave route in Virginia. One of the pilgrimage stops will be Saturday at Saint Mark's Lutheran Church in Roanoke. 

The location is near Mountain Avenue and Franklin Road, the site of the lynching of two black men in the 1890s. Leaders say the service is about coming together across racial and faith practice lines. 

"Especially people of privilege must face up to the truth of what has gone on in history repeatedly. Not just one (time), repeatedly. And until we face up to that truth and own it, it's really difficult to move on in a productive way," said Rev. Melissa Hays-Smith, canon for Justice and Reconciliation Ministries. 

The pilgrimage include other events in Staunton, Radford and Abingdon. 

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