Memorial in Alabama Will Honor Victims of Lynching

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Memorial in Alabama Will Honor Victims of Lynching
A rendering of a memorial to victims of lynching in Montgomery, Alabama / © Mass Design Group
Memorial in Alabama Will Honor Victims of Lynching
A rendering of a memorial to victims of lynching in Montgomery, Alabama / © Mass Design Group

One day in October 1910, a mob of white people in Montgomery, Ala., tried to seize and lynch several black men who were being held in a downtown jail on suspicion of interracial sexual relations.

Unsuccessful, the angry mob found a black man named John Dell sitting nearby in the taxi cab he drove. They shot him dead. No one was prosecuted, and Mr. Dell, as with roughly a dozen other lynching victims in the city’s history, was essentially unacknowledged.

Next year, not far from the site of Mr. Dell’s death, one of the first — and certainly the largest — memorials to the victims of the thousands of racial lynchings in United States history is scheduled to open.

The Equal Justice Initiative, a legal rights organization in Montgomery, is to formally announce the plans on Tuesday.

The group will also unveil plans for a museum to open in April, in its roughly 11,000-square-foot headquarters, that will trace the country’s racial history from slavery to the era of mass incarceration.

The memorial will sit on six acres, the highest spot in the first capital of the Confederacy, on the site of what used to be a public housing complex.

“Our goal isn’t to be divisive,” said Bryan Stevenson, the director of the Equal Justice Initiative. “Our goal is just to get people to confront the truth of our past with some more courage.”

The museum and memorial project, for which Mr. Stevenson said he had raised about 40 percent of a projected $20 million, is the latest and most ambitious undertaking in a continuing effort by Mr. Stevenson to change public awareness of the nation’s racial history.

Contributors to the project include the Ford Foundation and Google.

Designed in partnership with MASS, a Boston-based design group, the memorial will be made up of two parts. […]

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