Lynching memorial aims to help U.S. acknowledge a history of terror

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tags: racism, lynching



Lynchings -- unlawful executions used to terrorise and subdue black communities into passivity -- are perhaps one of the least discussed legacies of slavery and the Jim Crow South. A new memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, will commemorate victims of these acts of terror. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: Of the stains left on our national heritage by the country’s history of slavery and Jim Crow segregation, perhaps the least discussed is the practice of racial lynchings, executions of African-Americans done outside the judicial system and often intended to subdue black communities into passivity.

Hari Sreenivasan looks at a plan to help bring that conversation to the fore.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The plan is to commemorate victims of racially motivated lynchings with a memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.

The design calls for some 800 columns, which, upon closer viewing, reveal themselves to be suspended from above in a way that mimics a hanging. Each will bear the names of lynching victims, over 4,000 in all, as well as the date and location of their deaths.

A companion courtyard will hold duplicate columns which will be moved to the county of the lynchings each commemorates, once that local community accepts it.

A recent $10 million donation from sibling philanthropists Pat and Jon Stryker brings the project closer to its planned 2018 opening.




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