LAKE CITY, SC (TERESAREPORTS) – Hundreds gathered at the Lake City United Methodist Church for the dedication of the new Frazier B. Baker Post Office on Friday.
Baker was lynched 121 years ago in 1898 after a mob set his home and post office on fire. The mob shot and killed Baker and one of his daughters as they ran out of the home with the rest of his family.
Dr. Fostenia Baker, Postmaster Baker’s great niece, attended the ceremony.
“It’s a day of joy,” she said. “A day of reckoning. A day of considering, and certainly being aware, that something did happen here 121 years ago on this particular day to the black postmaster that had been appointed to serve his community, which he was doing when his life was taken away.”
Dr. Baker explained the story of how she was told about her great-uncle.
Dr. Baker said her family member told her great-uncle to leave the postmaster job because people didn’t want an African-American working at the post office.
“Uncle Frazier was a man of persistence and dedication and he had a job,” she said. “And he wanted to do his job and that is what he did, and as a result of that he lost his life, along with a 23-month-old infant.”
She said she was grateful Baker was recognized by the city.
“We’re glad to be here today to see there has been some lessening of pain, not total,” she said. “At least someone has recognized that something did happen.”
President Donald Trump signed the bill into law before the government shutdown in December.