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A Powerful New Memorial For Lynching Victims Just Opened In Alabama

A Powerful New Memorial For Lynching Victims Just Opened In Alabama

"For those abandoned by the rule of law. We will remember."

Posted on April 26, 2018, at 10:34 a.m. ET

A sculpture by artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo of enslaved people in chains at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
The Washington Post / Getty Images

A sculpture by artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo of enslaved people in chains at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

On Thursday, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, opened their doors to honor the thousands of lives lost to lynchings in the US.

The memorial is a powerful reminder of the centuries of violence and racial inequality throughout US history, while offering a place of solace to reflect upon those who have lost their lives because of the color of their skin. Inscribed into 800 steel monuments which hang from the memorial's ceiling are the names and places of each act of violence, while a display of glass jars containing soil from these sites offers a tangible reminder of the humanity behind each inscribed name.

Here's a look inside the National Memorial for Peace and Justice:

Names of lynching victims and dates of their deaths are inscribed on corten steel monuments, representing each county in the United States where a lynching took place. More than 4,000 victims are honored at the memorial.
The Washington Post / Getty Images

Names of lynching victims and dates of their deaths are inscribed on corten steel monuments, representing each county in the United States where a lynching took place. More than 4,000 victims are honored at the memorial.

Left: The name of each lynching victim is accompanied by the date of their death. Right: Each steel monument is approximately 6 feet tall and hangs from the memorial ceiling.
AP Photo / Brynn Anderson

Left: The name of each lynching victim is accompanied by the date of their death. Right: Each steel monument is approximately 6 feet tall and hangs from the memorial ceiling.

A sculpture by artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo depicts people enslaved and suffering.
Brynn Anderson / AP

A sculpture by artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo depicts people enslaved and suffering.

A quote by Martin Luther King Jr. is on display on the inside walkway of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
Brynn Anderson / AP

A quote by Martin Luther King Jr. is on display on the inside walkway of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

A bronze statue called "Raise Up" is displayed to honor the thousands of people killed in racist lynchings.
Brynn Anderson / AP

A bronze statue called "Raise Up" is displayed to honor the thousands of people killed in racist lynchings.

Soil samples from lynching sites across the country are displayed at the Legacy Museum. Each sample of soil has a date of a lynching and the name of the person lynched. On some samples, the jars are marked with Unknown if the names were not known.
The Washington Post / Getty Images

Soil samples from lynching sites across the country are displayed at the Legacy Museum. Each sample of soil has a date of a lynching and the name of the person lynched. On some samples, the jars are marked with Unknown if the names were not known.

A visitor to the memorial stands in reflection amid the steel monuments above.
Brynn Anderson / AP

A visitor to the memorial stands in reflection amid the steel monuments above.

Steel monuments await inscription and installation.
Brynn Anderson / AP

Steel monuments await inscription and installation.

The name of a lynching victim is inscribed alongside the date of his death.
Brynn Anderson / AP

The name of a lynching victim is inscribed alongside the date of his death.

The Washington Post / Getty Images

To learn more about the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, visit museumandmemorial.eji.org.



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