Colfax Memorial Organization Dedicates Memorial on 150th Anniversary of Colfax Massacre

The Colfax Memorial Organization hosted a dedication ceremony for a new memorial.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on what the memorial means to the town of Colfax.


The Colfax Massacre Memorial was unveiled at the 150th anniversary of the Colfax Massacre.

President of the Colfax Memorial Organization Avery Hamilton says, “Once I began to study the genealogy, I discovered my connection to the Colfax Massacre. I discovered my great, great, great grandfather, Mr. Jesse McKinney was the first African American killed in connection to this massacre.”


Governor John Bel Edwards dedicated the memorial to Colfax Massacre victims.

“Here we are in 2023, 150 years removed from the massacre, more than 70 years removed from just the placement of the marker, and people in this community are still very emotional about it. I think that speaks volumes on how important this was, and it actually happened.”


News Reporter Keisha Swafford says, “The Colfax Massacre Memorial represents over 150 African Americans who were killed and wounded during this massacre. Every name on this list represents someone who was killed and wounded.”


Keynote Speaker Charles Lane says, “The attacking force gave the defenders thirty minutes to evacuate women and children who had gathered for protection at the courthouse and shortly after noon, the assault began. The black men took cover in a shallow trench they had dug and withstood the rifle and shotgun fire for roughly two hours.”


Avery Hamilton and Dean Woods came to reveal the truth of the massacre’s history.

Hamilton says, “I feel relieved first of all. I feel so pleased that it’s gone as well. I thank God for all the support that we’ve gotten. The governor being here was huge. When he committed to being here, it lit a fire, like wind in our sail, it was a really good thing.”


Vice President of the Colfax Memorial Organization C. Dean Woods says, “The hearts that were shown on stage today about what this means to us, that we were able to have some small part in the correction of false history and then to honor and recognize these men who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending their rights and freedoms after the Civil War.”


Colfax residents supported the monument through donations.

Huey Tademy says, “So now we still have something we can look forward to. Our children will be able to look and see some of the history that took place in yesteryear so it’s a good event.”


Jazzmen Lee-Johnson provided the artwork for the memorial.

“I just feel profoundly moved by this story and this history and I feel honored that the people of Colfax would invite me and allow me to try to represent this story and this history visually. I really tried as best as I could to imagine what the men, the black men who stood their ground looked like at the time as well as the women who testified during the trial.”


The memorial serves as a reminder of the brave men who died in the struggle for racial justice.

The Colfax Memorial Organization set up a college scholarship fund for students in Colfax.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *