This article is over 14 years old


Honoring the Memory of James Byrd, Jr.

This week marks the ten year anniversary of the death of James Byrd Jr. The nation was shocked when three white men chained Byrd to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged him for miles because he was black. Byrd’s family continues to use his memory to rally people against hate crimes. Laurie Johnson has more.



To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Clara Taylor is James Byrd’s sister.
She’s spent the past decade promoting racial healing.
She says her brother’s death opened her family’s eyes to how
painful and destructive hate can be.

“But it also galvanized or united our family in our effort to bring about peace and unity among the races. We recognize that ultimately only God’s kingdom can solve all of mankinds problems, but each one of us can have a share in working to promote harmony and peace among the races.”

Taylor was joined by dozens of members of local civil rights groups.
They gathered for a symbolic Walk for Respect, organized by the
Anti-Defamation League.

Texas passed several hate crime laws in the wake of Byrd’s death.
State Representative Scott Hochberg says such laws don’t end
hate, but they recognize that hate crimes affect the entire community.

“If you look at a simple graffiti act of writing ‘John loves Mary’ on a railroad trestle that’s very different than putting a swastika on the side of a synagogue. If you look at a vandalism act like knocking over a mailbox that’s much different than burning a cross in somebody’s yard.”

The ADL and the other groups participated in a three-mile walk
to calling for a community of respect and peace in Houston.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.
Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Executive Director of Content Operations

As Executive Director of Content Operations, Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads the strategic vision and initiatives for News, Digital, Radio Operations and Talk Shows on all of Houston Public Media’s platforms. She brings 20 years of experience in journalism and content development to the role. Her focus is on reaching new audiences,...

More Information