A press conference is set for this afternoon by the Equal Justice Initiative to talk about the opening of its National Memorial for Peace and Justice later this week. The legal advocacy group in Montgomery says the combined museum and memorial will be the nation's first site to document racial inequality in America from slavery through Jim Crow to the issues of today. The site includes a memorial to the victims of 4,400 "terror lynchings" of black people in 800 U.S. counties from 1877 through 1950.
The memorial's design evokes the image of a racist hanging, featuring scores of dark metal columns suspended in the air from above. The rectangular structures, some of which lie flat on the ground and resemble graves, include the names of counties where lynchings occurred, plus dates and the names of the victims. The goal is for individual counties to claim the columns on the ground and erect their own memorials.
The monument's April 26 opening will be marked by a two-day summit focusing on racial and social justice, to be followed by an April 27 concert featuring top acts including Common, Usher, the Dave Matthews Band and The Roots.