The Legacy Museum & the National Memorial for Peace and Justice

The Legacy Museum and the Peace and Justice Memorial are the creation of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.  The museum has amazing technology including holographic slaves telling a part of their story while in holding pens before going to the auction block.  The museum tells “the story of how slavery evolved through the eras of racial terror lynchings, legalized racial segregation and mass incarceration”.  Photos are not allowed inside the museum which is perhaps for the best because to choose just a few as a sampling would have been impossible – every space, display and video in the museum is compelling and important.  As hard as this is to imagine, I found the Legacy Museum today even more impactful than the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History.  I wish everyone could spend a day here.

The National Memorial for Peace & Justice is sacred ground memorializing more than 4,000 African American men, women and children (yes children) who EJI has identified as victims of lynching in the US between 1877 and 1950.

Over 800 steel monuments hang at the memorial, one for every county where a documented lynching took place, each one listing the name or names of victims from that place.