Maya Angelou once wrote, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” This weighty insight undergirds the mission behind the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, a six-acre presentation of monuments, sculptures, and educational displays documenting the black American legacy of enslavement, segregation, and racial violence. Rusted rectangles dangle from the roof, each representing individual U.S. counties and lives terrorized and taken through lynching, while sculptures by Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, Dana King, and Hank Willis Thomas tribute leaders and eras leading the fight for racial justice. Accompanying the memorial, The Legacy Museum in downtown Montgomery further documents the enslavement, terror lynchings, segregation, and incarceration of black Americans through unique technological dramatizations.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is located at 417 Caroline St, Montgomery, Alabama, and is open Wednesday–Monday, 9am–5pm. The Legacy Museum is located at 115 Coosa St, Montgomery, Alabama, and is open Monday, Wednesday–Saturday, 9am–7:30pm, and Sunday, 9am–6pm. For more information, visit museumandmemorial.eji.org.