Alabama Set To House First National Memorial Site in Honor of Lynching Victims

Next year, Alabama will open a national memorial to honor the victims of racial lynchings in the United States — the first memorial of this kind.

The New York Times report that legal rights organization The Equal Justice Initiative has plans to unveil the six acres memorial project along with a museum called “From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration” that will chronicle the history of racial inequality, mass incarceration and police violence today. 

The museum, slated to open in April 2017, will feature art pieces from contemporary artists Sanford Biggers and Hank Willis Thomas along with artifacts, films and cultural pieces.

The memorial site will display some 800 floating concrete columns with the names of 4000 lynch victims engraved on each one.

“Our goal is just to get people to confront the truth of our past with some more courage,” Bryan Stevenson, the director of EJI, told the NY Times.

Built in the historically contentious city of Montgomery, the city’s Mayor Todd Strange says EJI received his full support.

The memorial project and museum is projected to cost an estimated $20 million. The Ford Foundation and Google have reportedly contributed.

“The memorial will be dynamic, and seeks to inspire local efforts to make the history of racial terror in America more visible and tangible,” the EJI said in an online statement.

Watch a video of the memorial site below. 



WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news. 

Loading the player...