Set to open today, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice memorializes what is likely the most damning stain on the history of the United States' nationhood. The memorial is "dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence."
The centerpiece of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice was designed by Mass Design Group, and it consists of 800 six-foot, rusted steel plinths suspended from the ceiling by thick stainless steel poles. Those 800 monoliths represent the 800 American counties in which at least one racially motivated lynching took place, with the names of all the murdered people of color from that county engraved in each block.
The memorial is a powerful reminder of the injustices of the past and the work that's yet to be done.