A Memorial to Lynching Victims Opens Today in Alabama

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice—a six-acre memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to lynching victims and enslaved black people—opened to the public on Thursday. The site, which features 800 six-foot monuments, honors those who died in lynchings across the country—and “uses sculpture, art, and design to contextualize racial terror,” according to the memorial’s website. The Legacy Museum also opens Thursday in Montgomery and focuses on the enslavement of African-Americans throughout U.S. history. As part of the openings, a series of panel discussions kicked off on Thursday at the Peace and Justice Summit, and will continue through the weekend. An official opening ceremony on Thursday evening will feature Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and other musical guests. An opening-weekend concert will also be held on Friday featuring Usher, Common, Dave Matthews, The Roots, and others. More than 300 of the 4,400 lynchings listed at the memorial happened on Alabama soil.