Thomas Finch

To read the full narrative of this historical event, visit its Stories From The Soil entry.

Soil Collection | May 18, 2019

May 18, 2019

Bryant O’Hara, a relative of Thomas Finch, described the jar of soil as a “time capsule as well as a memorial”.

Listen to Thomas Finch's story on WABE, reported by Stephannie Stokes.

“Stories From The Soil” by Cleo Corinne

This original poem was read during the event.






stillness now consumes the space

where struggle and strength once stood.


as the soil sings of how


begat stories

that begat sorrow

that begat silence…

as the soil screams

for the souls of sisters and sons,

as the stench of social sin

seeps slowly to the sky.

this soil-a stage for the sacrilegious

and the segregation sold to these

superficially united states.

stories from the soil

still striving to be shared.

and so…

racial injustice floats

along the the surface of

our nation’s fiber like

an unassuming iceberg-

just a piece, a fraction

of a larger ideological identity.

that iceberg, cold and slow-moving

like the progress of this nation.

592 reported lynchings,

60 years,

1 state.

592 lives deemed unworthy of

fairness, of a future…of their own flesh,

60 years of loved ones stolen before sunrise,

1 southern state supporting a

system of savagery and stereotypes.

and this is just the tip

of the iceberg.






a moment


Annie Laurie Shepard

Bud Cotton

Edward Brown

Henry Bingham

John Bigby

Tip Hutson

Clem Rhodes

Floyd Carmichael

Frank Fambro

Frank Smith

George Wilder

James Fletcher

Leola Maddox

Mack Brown

Milton Brown

Sam Magruder-McSaunders

Sam Robinson

Sterling Thompson

Thomas Finch

Warren Powell

Will Marion

Will Moreland

William Henry Welch

and Zeb Long.

a moment,

for the many who are

unnamed but not unknown-

the other side of the iceberg-

the stories from the soil.