Title: MEMORIAL TO PEACE AND JUSTICE
Author: MASS Design Group
Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Year complete: 2017
Description: a square made up of 800 columns
The Memorial to Peace and Justice is meant to memorialize the 4000+ victims of lynching in American South. The EJI, Equal Justice Initiative, is an organization that “is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society,” commissioned the project.
While there are many monuments to victories, war, generals, etc. there have been no memorials dedicated to victims of lynching. Despite this there have been many memorials dedicated to the Confederacy and its leaders. There are 59 memorials dedicated to the Confederacy in Montgomery, not including the other cities or states in the south. The EJI hopes to help correct this imbalance by creating the Memorial to Peace and Justice.
The site of the monument is six acres of land on what used to be the highest spot in the capital of the Confederacy and a former housing project. The structure itself is a classical type of architecture made up of 8000 columns that appear to hold the building up at first glance. Once one enters the memorial, however, the columns show themselves to hang from the ceiling, as individual monuments themselves. Over 4000 names will be inscribed on the columns for the known victims of lynching. There will also be a field of identical columns for each county where a lynching took place to have their own individual monument in said place.
A nation cannot heal what it does not acknowledge and the Memorial to Peace and Justice is a small step on the road to acknowledgement for United States. The memorial is meant to “confront the truth of our past,” as said by Bryan Stevenson