The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening Thursday in Montgomery, Ala., is dedicated to v Apr 26, 2018 15:54:30 GMT -5
Post by Deleted on Apr 26, 2018 15:54:30 GMT -5
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In a plain brown building sits an office run by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, a place for people who have been held accountable for their crimes and duly expressed remorse.
Just a few yards up the street lies a different kind of rehabilitation center, for a country that has not been held to nearly the same standard.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opens Thursday on a six-acre site overlooking the Alabama State Capitol, is dedicated to the victims of American white supremacy. And it demands a reckoning with one of the nation’s least recognized atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a decades-long campaign of racist terror.
At the center is a grim cloister, a walkway with 800 weathered steel columns, all hanging from a roof. Etched on each column is the name of an American county and the people who were lynched there, most listed by name, many simply as “unknown.” The columns meet you first at eye level, like the headstones that lynching victims were rarely given. But as you walk, the floor steadily descends; by the end, the columns are all dangling above, leaving you in the position of the callous spectators in old photographs of public lynchings.
The magnitude of the killing is harrowing, all the more so when paired with the circumstances of individual lynchings, some described in brief summaries along the walk: Parks Banks, lynched in Mississippi in 1922 for carrying a photograph of a white woman; Caleb Gadly, hanged in Kentucky in 1894 for “walking behind the wife of his white employer”; Mary Turner, who after denouncing her husband’s lynching by a rampaging white mob, was hung upside down, burned and then sliced open so that her unborn child fell to the ground.
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Six blacks lynched near Cincinnati among 4,400 named at a new memorial that opens Thursday
Mark Curnutte, email@example.com Published 9:25 p.m. ET April 25, 2018 |
The lynchings that killed thousands of people and terrorized generations of blacks in the U.S. are solemnly commemorated in a new memorial in Alabama's capital city. **Warning: Graphic Images** (April 23) AP
News: EJI National Memorial of Peace and Justice
Bearing 4,400 names, the first national memorial to African-American victims of lynching will open Thursday in Montgomery, Alabama. Racial terror was not confined to the Deep South. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice will contain the names of six African-Americans lynched in Greater Cincinnati – two in Butler County and four in Boone County.
Enquirer research found the names of four additional African-Americans lynched in Boone County, along with one black man – Noah Anderson – snatched from law enforcement by a white mob in New Richmond and hanged, this newspaper reported on Aug. 22, 1895, "on the highest poplar tree of Clermont County,"
Seeking to learn which six local names appear in the memorial, The Enquirer provided the names of the 11 local lynching victims to the memorial's creator, the Equal Justice Initiative. Officials at the nonprofit legal and civil rights group, based in the Alabama capital, did not respond.
White lynch mobs killed thousands of people across America during a 70-year period beginning in 1877. The withdrawal that year of the last federal troops from the South ended the formal attempt through Reconstruction to establish racial equality and blacks' rights in the former Confederate states.
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New Lynching Memorial Is A Space 'To Talk About All Of That Anguish'
Editor's note: This report contains language and an image some may find offensive.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening Thursday, stands high on a hillside overlooking downtown Montgomery, Ala. Beyond the buildings you can see the winding Alabama River and hear the distant whistle of a train — the nexus that made the city a hub for the domestic slave trade. And that's where the experience begins as visitors encounter a life-size sculpture in bronze of six people in rusting shackles, including a mother with a baby in her arms.
"You see the agony and the anguish and the suffering in these figures," says Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, the non-profit legal advocacy group that created the memorial.
"It's people in distress," Stevenson says. "And I don't think we've actually done a very good job of acknowledging the pain and agony, the suffering, the humiliation, the complete denial of humanity that slavery created for black people on this continent."
Stevenson serves as a tour guide through the somber space – which remembers the nation's history of racial terror, representing a journey from slavery to the period after the Civil War, and before the civil rights movement.
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