The United States will soon have its first national memorial dedicated to the victims of racial terror lynching.
The opening for The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is set for April 26, 2018.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice will acknowledge an era of racial terror in the United States when thousands of African Americans were lynched and publicly tortured, sometimes in the presence of thousands of people.
Designed with hundreds of six-foot, corten steel monuments aligned in a structure that sits above the city of Montgomery, EJI’s memorial will feature new sculptures from African and African American artists that explore slavery, segregation, and contemporary issues of racial inequality.
The spacious park holding the memorial will include a monument for every county in America where a racial terror lynching took place that can be claimed by community groups and installed locally.
Per EJI’s website, visitors who attend during the museum’s launch will be treated to “several days of educational panels and presentations from leading national figures, performances and concerts from acclaimed recording artists, and a large opening ceremony.”
The Equal Justice Initiative was founded by Bryan Stevenson, an attorney and human rights activist whose work on criminal justice issues earned him a MacArthur “genius” award.
“We want to make the legacy of slavery visible,” said Stevenson, noting “we have a holocaust museum that’s very powerful and effective in this country even though the holocaust didn’t take place here. And this says something about how we have avoided honestly confronting this legacy, so we want to build a museum where you are going to be forced to confront the history of slavery.
You can purchase tickets to the museum and memorial at museumandmemorial.eji.org.