Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum opens today

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum opens today

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opens today on a 6-acre site overlooking the Alabama state capital, is dedicated to the victims of American white supremacy.

The majority of the memorial is built around a square of 800 six-foot monuments, one for every documented county where this terrorism took place.

The 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.

What's the background of the memorial?

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings, is scheduled to open April 26. Etched in each column are the names of the victims from that county. Stevenson noted that many victims "have never been named in public". Short summaries of the horrors that these people had to endure, some of them incredibly graphic.

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Part of a statue depicting chained people is on display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

The Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative created and organized the museum and memorial. According to its website, the group is "committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society".

The memorial lists the names of 4,400 lynchings of black people in 800 US counties from 1877 through 1950.

Inspired by the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, Stevenson decided that a single memorial was the most powerful way to give a sense of the scale of the bloodshed. Stevenson's great-grandparents were slaves in Virginia.

Why does Mr. Stevenson say that people do not want to admit wrongdoing in America, and what is his goal for the country? "I want to liberate America".

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