Freed slaves on the canal bank at Richmond.

Source: Universal History Archive / Getty

On April 26, 2017, the Equal Justice Initiative plans to launch the nation’s first national memorial dedicated to racial terror and victims of lynching.

Montgomery, Ala., will be home to the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration as well as The National Memorial for Peace. According to the Equal Justice Initiative’s statement, the latter will acknowledge an era of racial terror in the United States when African Americans were lynched and publicly tortured, sometimes in the presence of thousands of people.

Only a few blocks from each other, the museum will explore slavery, lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration on the same site where enslaved people were kept and sold off. Montgomery was home to one of the most prominent slave markets in the country as well as a port and rail station that trafficked thousands of Black people in the mid 19th-century.

“Our nation’s history of racial injustice casts a shadow across the American landscape,” noted EJI Director Bryan Stevenson. “This shadow cannot be lifted until we shine the light of truth on the destructive violence that shaped our nation, traumatized people of color and compromised our commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice.”

Stevenson, a public interest lawyer and best-selling author of Just Mercy, founded EJI in 1989. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping the poor, incarcerated and condemned. It works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment, and is committed to changing the narrative on race in America.

The museum will be home to sculpture, fine art, technology, original research, and multi-media presentations to bring visitors through the difficult history lesson. From April 26-29, there will be educational panels and presentations from leading national figures, performances, concerts, and a huge opening ceremony.

You can buy tickets for admission to the museum and memorial at the website here. You can also find announcements regarding the opening program and other activities in the next couple of weeks.

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