Construction is underway in Montgomery, Alabama, on the Equal Justice Initiative’s new racial justice museum, which will explore America’s legacy of slavery, racial terror, segregation, and mass incarceration. EJI’s planned museum attempts to address our country’s failure to create cultural spaces that have honestly addressed enslavement, lynching, and the consequences of centuries of racial inequality. EJI believes that acknowledging our nation’s history of racial injustice is critical to addressing a range of contemporary issues.
Opening in 2018, the 11,000-square-foot museum entitled, “From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration,” will be located on the site of a former slave warehouse in Montgomery, and promises a one-of-a-kind experience that explores the consequences of enslaving African Americans followed by decades of racial terror and legal subordination. The museum will feature new data, analysis, research, art, sculpture, music, videos, interactive and dynamic displays, and the largest collection of data about lynching in the United States. It will also present previously unseen archival information about the domestic slave trade brought to life through new technology.
“We want to create an institution that allows people to experience directly what this history means and what it does,” EJI’s Executive Director Bryan Stevenson said in a new video released today. “In America, we don’t talk about slavery. We don’t talk about lynching. We don’t talk about segregation. Our silence has left us vulnerable to new forms of bigotry and discrimination that we need to address.”
There is a line from slavery to the racial bias and discrimination that we see today that needs to be understood. EJI believes that this museum, as well as our upcoming national memorial honoring more than 4000 lynching victims, will help us challenge our country’s narrative about race and poverty. Please join us in our public education efforts to confront this history of racial inequality so that we can begin to truly advance equal justice for all.