Why People Are Honoring This Colorado Lynching Victim With A Soil Ceremony

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Photo: Colorado Lynching
An illustration of the November 1900 lynching of 16-year old Preston Porter outside of Limon. Porter is one of the three Colorado names included in the new lynching memorial in Montgomery, Ala.

Colorado is not the deep south. But there were lynchings here, including that of a 16-year-old African American boy, Preston Porter, Jr., on November 16, 1900.

Back then, onlookers came from all over to watch the gruesome murder. More than a century later, people will gather to honor Porter's life by collecting soil from the spot where he died to be used at a national memorial in Alabama.

Westword writer Alan Prendergast has researched Porter's death, and the broader dark history of lynching in Colorado. Prendergast talked to Colorado Matters about the meaning behind soil ceremonies, and why it's important to remember terrible events of racial violence.