“Red Summer” talk at Carswell Grove Baptist Church, Jenkins County, Ga., Saturday, Oct. 12, starting at 10:30 a.m.

I am looking forward to traveling out to Carswell Grove Baptist Church on Saturday morning to speak at a fundraiser by people working to restore and preserve the historic building, built in 1919 on the ashes of the previous church, which was destroyed that year by a white mob. I describe the violence in the opening chapter of Red Summer. In 1996, the Gothic revival church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but the dwindling black congregation has not been able to maintain the wood and brick building. Now black and white citizens of Jenkins County, one of the poorest counties in Georgia, are banding together to save the property and put up historical markers. The congregation at Carswell Grove was founded in 1867, right after the Civil War, when white church goers kicked newly-freed slaves out of their church just up the road. The area is steeped in history, and was the site of a significant skirmish between Union troops and Confederate defenders as General Sherman made his march to the sea in 1864.

Carswell Grove Baptist Church
Carswell Grove Baptist Church in Jenkins County, Georgia
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