The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the first memorial of its kind, recognizes the thousands of lynchings that occurred across the U.S., many of which were undocumented. In nearly all documented cases, the perpetrators were never punished. Such violence and injustice brought terror and trauma to blacks in the South and led 6 million of them to flee the region. Those who didn’t leave were subjected to racial segregation and Jim Crow laws. At the memorial, visitors can walk among 800 six-foot monuments symbolizing racial terror in all its forms, reflect on our nation’s malicious past and be inspired to take action to reshape our cultural landscape.
To gain a better understanding of that past, visit the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. It is located at 115 Coosa Street, near the former site of one of the most prominent slave auctions in the country and just steps from the rail station that trafficked thousands of enslaved people during the 1800s. The exhibits in the Legacy Museum offer visitors an opportunity to reflect on the history of racial injustice in our nation and its effects on our society today.