Equal Justice Initiative expands Montgomery Memorial and Museum

RELATED: ‘Just Mercy’ Author Bryan Stevenson Awarded for Excellence by the Fitzgerald Museum “It will start with the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is something we do not currently cover in our museum,” Stevenson said . “… People don’t appreciate the impact this has had on all of the Americas – South America, Central America, North America.”

Stevenson said two million blacks died during the crossing. “Their bodies are buried in the ocean floor of the Atlantic, and we have kind of ignored this site as a space of suffering and struggle. We have spent millions… searching for the remains of the Titanic and done very little to recognize this tragic story of the Middle Passage. BLOODY TUESDAY: “Pain and shame” explains why Bloody Tuesday remains less well known

Visitors will hear more first-person accounts of tales of slaves, see how slavery evolved by digging deeper into each era, and see new exhibits with the floor of 800 documented lynching sites across the country. A section on the Civil Rights Era will be significantly expanded to highlight “the work of ordinary people to do extraordinary things,” Stevenson said. There will be new exhibits on the police and the plight of children, and visitors will be able to hear more of the incarcerated. As part of the expansion, EJI is also opening an art gallery which Stevenson says will showcase the work of world-renowned artists “in conversation with the story we present.” These artists include Glenn Ligon, Deborah Roberts, Jacob Lawrence, Alison Saar, Elizabeth Cathlett, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems.

“It’s something that we really want to explore,” he said. The expansion will also detail the role played by northern US cities such as New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Boston in subsidizing the slave trade and its integration into the US economy, and show how it continues. to have an impact on different regions of the country. Stevenson said many visitors to the current Heritage Museum and the nearby National Peace and Justice Memorial, which remembers the lynching victims, are from the north and do not recognize the north’s role in trafficking slaves or its impact there.

The work was not limited to the pavilion area. A new section is added to the National Peace and Justice Memorial to honor commemoration efforts organized by community groups across the country. They acquired land next to the pavilion that will be used for parking, as well as a park and a reflective space with art and sculptures. The current site of the Legacy Museum will become a meeting place for groups of visitors.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brad Harper at [email protected] “We want to correct this,” he said. Stevenson said his Montgomery sites here were at capacity about 80% of the time from the day they opened in 2018 until the start of the pandemic, and visitor traffic is already approaching those levels. He estimates that up to 50,000 people have so far visited the memorial but were unable to enter the museum because it was full.

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