Lynching Memorial Opens in Montgomery

Monuments at the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice mark locations of lynchings. (Source: Equal Justice Initiative)

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the first memorial in America dedicated to remembering victims of lynchings and other racial violence, opens Thursday in Montgomery.

Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery-based legal advocacy group, has developed the memorial along with a museum called the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.

The EJI is expecting thousands of visitors this weekend to the memorial, the museum and a slate of events set around the opening. Events include a summit, during which national figures such as former Vice President Al Gore will speak, and a Friday night concert.

For information about the events and to explore the history and the memorials, visit the EJI site devoted to the topic.

The memorial has become a national event and focused conversation on race in America.

If you’re interested in learning about the memorial, getting a sneak peek and reading about people who lost their lives in lynchings, The Montgomery Advertiser has done a series of stories under the title Legacy of Lynchings: America’s Shameful History of Racial Terror, which includes a 100-photo slideshow.

The Associated Press published a video, Monument Memorializes 4,400 Lynching Victims.

Oprah Wynfrey visited Montgomery and did the report Inside the Memorial to Victims of Lynching for 60 Minutes.

Many national publications also have been paying attention to the opening, including the New Times in an article published Wednesday: A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.