Today's Post:

Memorial for lynching victims planned

The Alabama memorial will draw attention to racial terrorism.
The Alabama memorial will draw attention to racial terrorism.
Image: Screenshot from youtube video.
Not long after the Civil War, memorials started going up, and throughout the South, Confederate generals guard courthouses and town squares. Less well remembered are the thousands murdered in lynchings during the century following the war.

    But an Alabama nonprofit plans to fix that with the first memorial dedicated to lynching victims and a museum exploring the enslavement and mass incarceration of African-Americans. Both are scheduled to open in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2017.
    The Memorial to Justice and Peace is a project of Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners. Notably, in 2015, the group's efforts resulted in the release of an Alabama man who served 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit.  
    The same year, the organization released a report documenting more than 4,000 lynching incidents between 1877 and 1950. (Read a report summary on the group’s website.)
    The memorial will be on 6 acres overlooking Montgomery. Columns -- suspended from the roof to evoke lynching -- will be  engraved with the names of victims.Outside the memorial, there will be a field with identical columns placed in the ground. These markers eventually will be taken to counties throughout the country. (See video below.) 
   Equal Justice Initiative is hoping to "change the landscape of the American South, which is saturated with iconography and memorials romanticizing the Confederacy and the effort to preserve slavery,” the website explains.
    The organization also will open a museum, From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, which will explore the historical narrative of oppression and its lasting impact. The museum will be in a former slave warehouse in Montgomery.
    Together, the museum and memorial will confront tough issues at a time of unrest in the wake of the deaths of African-Americans in police encounters.  




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