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"Scenic Roots" offers conversations that matter in the heart of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley.From the mountains to the river, our conversations are rooted deep within every corner of our community - reflecting who we are, who we were and who we can become.We engage with the news that affects our community, behind and beyond the headlines. We build bridges that span from creators and innovators to storytellers and the outdoors. We focus on our challenges as many communities in one - as we celebrate what inspires us. We resonate with countless voices - in words and spaces, sounds and songs.We are "Scenic Roots."Ray Bassett hosts and produces "Scenic Roots" at WUTC.

Audio Rewind: Remembering The Story Of Ed Johnson

The Ed Johnson Memorial, at night, near the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.
Public Art Chattanooga
The Ed Johnson Memorial, at night, near the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.

It happened here in Chattanooga on the Walnut Street Bridge.

The date: March 19th, 1906.

Ed Johnson - a young Black man - had been falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of a crime that he did not commit.

His case reached the United States Supreme Court, which had issued a stay of execution.

But then, on March 19th, a violent mob took the law into its own hands - and lynched Johnson on the Walnut Street Bridge.

From his arrest through his trial to the final moments of his life, Johnson said, again and again: “I am an innocent man.”

In 2021, the Ed Johnson Memorial was dedicated near the bridge.

This evening, starting at 6:30 PM, this year’s remembrance will be held there - followed by a crossing of the bridge, facilitated by the Friends of the Ed Johnson Memorial.

As the memorial neared its completion in 2021, we shared two series about Ed Johnson here on WUTC.

One was a podcast series - “We Care Now” - by podcasting students of Will Davis here on our campus, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Alongside the student podcast series, we brought you another series on Ed Johnson here on “Scenic Roots” in 2021: “The Ed Johnson Conversations.”

Among the participants: The Rev. Paul A. McDaniel, who recounted Johnson’s baptism at the Hamilton County Jail.

Listen to “We Care Now” - and “The Ed Johnson Conversations” - at our website, wutc.org.

Ray is the host and producer of Scenic Roots, Mondays - Thursdays at 3 PM on WUTC.
Related Content
  • Bienvenidos al podcast “Amigos Unidos” en Chattanooga. Audio rewind: Remembering the story of Ed Johnson. These voices - and more - on this edition of “Scenic Roots.”
  • Chattanooga is a place for homegrown and hyperlocal podcasting. A story in Monday’s edition of The Chattanooga Times Free Press sampled a variety of local podcasts. Among them: "Amigos Unidos," a Spanish language podcast hosted by Jose Otero.