Viral TikTok video urges Jesse Washington marker to be installed

Local

WACO, Texas – A historical marker to remember the lynching of Jesse Washington, known as the “Waco Horror,” had plans to be built this year, according to the Waco Community Race Relations Coalition – but this did not happen.

Filmmaker Colin Browen brought the issue to the surface again in a viral TikTok video – starting a petition which has close to 2,000 signatures.

“It’s my time to say something, because I have this platform that I have built. And I have always wanted to use it for something bigger than just creating a video for people to enjoy,” Browen said.

Browen says his goal is to bring awareness to the names which have been forgotten in history.

Community Race Relations Coalition Chair Jo Welter says Browen’s video helps bring acknowledgment – but it included some misinformation.

“They promised it would be ready and dedicated like last May. Those were not statements made by the State Historical Commission,” Welter said. “They were statements made by me, and it was not a promise. It was a hope.”

In 2016, they applied to the Undertold Stories program, and they were approved – starting the process to get the marker installed.

“Together the County Historical Commission and the Race Relations Coalition had a little bit different idea of what we were going to focus on,” Welter said. “So we got permission from the State Historical Commission to submit both of our proposals for the inscription.”

Once an agreement was reached about the inscription, it went to the director of the Marker Committee and was approved.

Welter says due to the pandemic, there is a backlog of 60 markers waiting final approval from the State Commissioner Committee.

“The next step after the approval of the commissioners is that it will go to the foundry for production,” Welter said. “They will actually produce the plaque itself, and will be mounted on a pole.”

Wetler says this process can take anywhere from four to six months – but Browen wants to know why does it take so long?

“The immediacy, that’s why. I wanted to say all this, because there needs to be more of a pressure put on people to get it done,” Browen said. “It’s time for these markers that people don’t want to think about to be built, so that people can start thinking about them!”

Welter anticipates a dedication of the marker in May 2022.

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