National Institute on Aging

New Memorial Honoring the African American Victims of Lynchings Opens in Alabama

Late last month the National Memorial for Peace and Justice was opened to the public in Montgomery, Alabama. The memorial is a project of the Equal Justice Institute and honors the more than 4,000 African Americans who were lynched between 1877 and 1950.

The six-acre site includes  a memorial square with 800 six-foot monuments, one for each county in the United States where these lynchings took place. The names of the victims are engraved on the columns. In the six-acre park surrounding the memorial is a field of identical monuments, waiting to be claimed and installed in the counties they represent.

Bryan Stevenson, director of the Equal Justice Institute, stated that “our nation’s history of racial injustice casts a shadow across the American landscape. 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.”

A video about the memorial can be viewed below.

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