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Phillip Tutor: In Gadsden, a lesson for Calhoun County

Bunk Richardson lynching marker in Gadsden

GADSDEN — Until last December, nothing about the intersection of First and Locust streets in Etowah County’s river city was remarkable. Not to visitors, at least. It was Gadsden’s version of Anniston’s South Noble Street, empty lots and train tracks and nondescript buildings. But at least it had the Coosa River, which flows nearby.

At that intersection today is a blue marker that retells the lynching of Bunk Richardson, an innocent black man who swung to death over that river in 1906. The railroad that crosses the Coosa and led Richardson to his grave is a few steps away.

Phillip Tutor is The Star’s commentary editor. Email: ptutor@annistonstar.com