Building monuments nationwide to commemorate the victims of lynching

Image Carol Highsmith via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, Confederate monuments across the United States have been pulled down, causing celebration and uproar.  Cheryl Thompson wrote a great article about this movement in September 2017, linking this story to experiences in Canada and applauding these changes as a step in the right direction.  

Another step is the building of an ambitious national memorial to the remember the over 4000 racial terror lynchings of black men, women, and children.  In February 2015, Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) released Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, a ground-breaking report that documents more than 4000 lynchings of black people in the United States between 1877 and 1950. EJI identified nearly 800 more lynchings than had previously been recognized.  

Now, EJI is working with partners to build a national memorial to victims of lynching in Montgomery, Alabama, which is expected to open in 2018. This memorial project will become the most ambitious in the nation on this topic.  Not only will there be a memorial in Montgomery Alabama, markers are being put around the country where lynchings happened.  The most brilliant part of the design of the memorial is that each state could easily erect a monument to its residents who were lynched.  Maybe some of the sites where Confederate soldiers once were memorialized, will instead bear witness to the people who were killed in lynchings.  Hopefully this will continue a much needed conversation.  Click here to find out more and to support the work of the Equal Justice Initiative. 

Click here to watch the video which explains the project. 

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