Names and dates of lynching victims are inscribed on corten steel monuments at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Ricky Carioti—The Washington Post/Getty Images

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Montgomery, Alabama

Most public memorials exalt history. Deep in the American South, a powerful space pays homage to its victims. At a low angle, the roof of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice appears to be held up by columns. Draw closer, and it emerges that the more than 800 Corten steel slabs are in fact hanging from the ceiling. Inscribed on each is the name of a county, followed by dates and names of persons, some marked unknown. They honor approximately 4,400 black Americans who were murdered in lynchings between 1877 and 1950. The first-of-its-kind memorial was created by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a legal advocacy group founded by Bryan Stevenson, in collaboration with MASS Design Group; EJI also runs the nearby Legacy Museum, devoted to the full gamut of America’s racial history. Both sites are resonating: more than 100,000 people have visited since they opened in April. —Merrill Fabry

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