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The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is a museum in Montgomery, Alabama, that displays the history of slavery and racism in America. This includes the enslavement of African-Americans, racial lynchings, segregation, and racial bias.

Bryan A. Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative

Equal Justice Initiative believes that in order to heal the wounds from our present, we must face our past. Our history of racial terror casts a shadow across the U.S. landscape. We must engage it more honestly. LEARN MORE: Explore Children in Adult Prisons, Excessive Punishment, the need for Sentencing Reform, and the urgent need to confront our History of Racial Injustice.

jpgThe Legacy Museum 01 - Equal Justice Initiative EJI.org

jpgThe Legacy Museum 02 - Equal Justice Initiative EJI.org

jpgThe Legacy Museum 03 - Equal Justice Initiative EJI.org


Established April 26, 2018; 17 months ago
Location Montgomery, Alabama
Coordinates 32°22′47″N 86°18′37″W
Founder Equal Justice Initiative
Website Official website

The topic of the museum is the post-slavery treatment of African Americans by whites. Rather than ending, according to Equal Justice Initiative's head Bryan Stevenson, slavery "evolved": sharecropping, Jim Crow laws, mass incarceration, convict leasing, and lynching. The museum reflects "Stevenson's view that, unlike in South Africa or post-Nazi Germany or many other societies traumatized by history, we’ve hardly begun to grapple with ours — and so cannot yet get beyond it."

National Memorial for Peace and Justice

The Memorial is intended to call attention to "an aspect of the nation's racial history that’s discussed the least," according to Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson: the 4,400 victims of "terror lynchings" black people 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.

America’s history of racial inequality continues to haunt us. The genocide of Native people, 250-year enslavement of black people, adoption of “racial integrity laws” that demonized ethnic immigrants and people of color, and enforcement of policies and practices designed to perpetuate white supremacy are all part of our difficult past. This country has witnessed great triumph, innovation, and progress, but we are burdened by a painful history that we have yet to adequately acknowledge.

Just Mercy is the bestselling book by Bryan Stevenson (founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative). It is a powerful true story about EJI, the people we represent, and the importance of confronting injustice. Visit Equal Justice Initiative to learn more about the book and see the trailer for the adapted feature film starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson.

Read More: Just Mercy

LEARN MORE: Explore Children in Adult Prisons, Excessive Punishment, the need for Sentencing Reform, and the urgent need to confront our History of Racial Injustice.

Video: True Justice (2019) | Official Trailer | HBO

HBO's documentary about Bryan Stevenson and the work of EJI premieres on June 26, 2019.

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the criminal justice system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved, and continues to threaten the country.

The film also documents the 2018 opening of our Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

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