A small group gathered last week in a hotel suite on the outskirts of Gary, Indiana. The nine formally dressed guests joined hands while standing around a table holding only a white box. Reverend John Jackson of Trinity United Church of Christ started the prayer.
“Eternal God, we are gathered here today to honor you, and to honor the legendary liberator, emancipator of the enslaved, and revolutionary of righteous, the Reverend Nathaniel Turner.”
The gathering’s 83-year-old host, Richard Gordon Hatcher, who served as Gary’s mayor from 1968 to 1987, planned the event at which a skull alleged to be Turner’s was turned over to his descendants. The guests of honor, Shanna Batten Aguirre and Shelly Lucas Wood, both descendants of Turner, flew