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New Memorial for the Legacy of Enslaved Black People Opens in Montgomery, Alabama

Yesterday marked the official opening of Montgomery, Alabama’s new National Memorial for Peace and Justice, conceived and built by the Equal Justice Initiative. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is the nation’s first memorial to be dedicated to the legacy of black slaves, lynching victims, people terrorized and humiliated by Jim Crow and segregation, and people of color threatened and oppressed by police violence.

According to the EJI’s website, the Memorial for Peace and Justice “was conceived with the hope of creating a sober, meaningful site where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality.” The memorial includes a sculpture from artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo—it meets visitors when enter—before taking visitors on “a journey from slavery, through lynching and racial terror, with text, narrative, and monuments to the lynching victims in America.”

Dana King has a sculpture in the memorial dedicated to the women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Mass Design Group put together the site’s central square, and the final work, on police violence and biased criminal justice, is from Hank Willis Thomas. The memorial displays writing from Toni Morrison, words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a reflection space in honor of Ida B. Wells.

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For more information on the memorial, visit the website for the Equal Justice Initiative.

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