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Alabama Museum

The museum and memorial is due to open in 2017. Source: Equal Justice Initiative.

Andrew Buncombe, Lynching museum will honour victims of America’s ‘racial terror’, The Independent, 17 August 2016

Activists in Alabama have announced plans to open the nation’s first museum dedicated to its dark and often-ignored history of the lynching of African Americans.

The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) on Tuesday said it intended to open the memorial and museum  – From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration – on a six acre site that would both honour the people who had been murdered, and draw attention to those responsible for what it called “racial terror lynching”. The group has estimated there were at least 4,000 such lynchings between 1877 and 1950.

“From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration will be situated within 150 yards of one of the South’s most prominent slave auction sites and the Alabama River dock and rail station where tens of thousands of enslaved black people were trafficked,” said the EJI.

“The museum will connect the history of racial inequality with contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and police violence.”

The EJI has since 1989 fought for the legal rights of prisoners who have been denied a fair trial, either because of racial prejudice or else they cannot afford a lawyer. It has helped hundreds of people on death row, and overturned many convictions.

The structure will contain the names of over 4000 lynching victims engraved on concrete columns representing each county in the United States where lynchings took place. Counties across the country will be invited to retrieve duplicate columns with the names of each county’s lynching victims to be placed in every county.

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