Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama

Memorial to Victims of Lynching Alabama, Architecture, Building, Architects, Design, Project, News

Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery

American Victims of Lynching Building, Southern United States of America – by MASS Design Group

23 Aug 2016

Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama

Architects: MASS Design Group

Memorial to victims of lynching, Montgomery, Alabama

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) unveiled plans this week for the Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

Designed by Boston-based architects MASS Design Group, the new memorial building is intended to acknowledge victims of lynching throughout American history.

EJI also plans to construct a museum, called “From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration,” inside its headquarters—a former slave warehouse in downtown Montgomery—with the goal of tracing racial history in the U.S. from the earliest days of slavery, through the Jim Crow era, to the present day.

Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama
image courtesy EJI / MASS Design Group

Situated on the highest point of Montgomery—the first capital of the Confederacy—the memorial is composed of two parts: one permanent, one mobile. MASS designed a large rectangular pavilion from which 801 6-foot columns will be suspended, representing the counties where lynchings took place.

Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama – YouTube video:

Every column will be inscribed with the names of the individuals killed there. In an adjacent field on the six-acre site, duplicates of the columns will stand until they are claimed by and relocated to the counties they represent as permanent markers and memorials to the victims from those areas.

“Our goal isn’t to be divisive,” EJI director Bryan Stevenson told the New York Times. “Our goal is just to get people to confront the truth of our past with some more courage.”

Memorial to victims of lynching in Montgomery, Alabama
image courtesy EJI / MASS Design Group

This is not the EJI’s first project commemorating racial violence: last year, after releasing a report documenting more than 4,000 lynchings that took place between 1877 and 1950, the group collected soil from the sites around the country. The soil will go on display in glass jars in the museum.

To date, the group has raised about 40% of the $20m project, which is expected to open sometime in 2017.

“We are honored to work on the memorial project and look forward to sharing future progress,” said MASS co-founder and CEO Michael Murphy.

MASS Design Group

Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama – project post on MASS Design Group website

“The memorial is constructed of hundreds of floating columns on which the names of lynching victims from over 800 counties across the United States will be inscribed. The classical structure will be surrounded by a park, where duplicate columns engraved with the names of lynching victims in each county will be placed until they are claimed by each county and permanently installed in the places where racial terror lynchings took place. The memorial will be dynamic, and seeks to inspire local efforts to make the history of racial terror in America more visible and tangible.”

source: Memorial to Victims of Lynching, Alabama – EJI article


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Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama – YouTube video

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