The Equal Justice Initiative has announced plans to open a national memorial to lynching victims next year in Montgomery, Ala.
The Montgomery-based organization released a stunning report in 2015, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, that documents more than 4,000 lynchings of African Americans in the United States between 1877 and 1950. The memorial will honor each victim by engraving their name on floating concrete columns representing over 800 counties in the United States where racial terror lynchings took place. Counties across the country will be invited to retrieve duplicate columns with the names of each county’s lynching victims to be placed in every county.
The six-acre site will also feature a museum, From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, that will be situated within 150 yards of one of the South’s most prominent slave auction sites and the Alabama River dock and rail station where tens of thousands of enslaved black people were trafficked. The museum will contain high-tech exhibits, artifacts, recordings, and films, as well as comprehensive data and information on lynching and racial segregation. It will also connect the history of racial inequality with contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and police violence.
Check out a video from EJI with more details on the memorial: