On April 26, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama the very first museum and memorial dedicated solely to the memory of lynched African-Americans opened. The National Memorial For Peace and Justice is a reminder to so many that systematic terrorism and the assault of black people in America is not new and that their memory should not be forgotten.
Creation & Purpose :
The project begun as research by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) into thousands of undocumented racially motivated lynchings in the south. EJI’s work eventually morphed into Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror . It is a compilation of many racially motivated terror lynches across 12 states.
The research motivated EJI into “creating a sober, meaningful site where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality”. The ultimate hope is that both the memorial and museum will advance EJI’s mission to further the truth and foster reconciliation in regards to race in America. This will occur through candidly confronting segregation, lynching, and the long-lasting legacy of slavery.
The Legacy Museum:
The Legacy Museum presents data on African-Americans from enslavement to current day incarceration in a variety of forms. The museum is unique in its presentation of this data. The work is presented through interactive sculptures, videography, and exhibits that explore all aspects of the African experience from domestic terrorism to Jim Crow and beyond.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice:
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is an ode to the thousands of black Americans who were subject to any number of violent attacks or murders by white mobs from 1877-1950. Housed on six-acres EJI states that it is a place for “sacred space for truth-telling and reflection about racial terror in America and its legacy”. The first of its kind, there is no doubt that the memorial will be a jarring, humbling, and healing experience.
Get your tickets for the museum and memorial at museumandmemorial.eji.org.