National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Cultural | Civic
LOCATION: Montgomery, AL
COMPLETED: 2018
OWNERS: Equal Justice Initiative
ARCHITECT: MASS Design Group
PHOTOGRAPHER: © Getty Images

DESIGN TEAM:Keith Yancey
 Dan Weissman

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a beacon of hope for a world without racism. On a six-acre sacred site in Montgomery, Alabama, this national lynching memorial recognizes the history of racial injustice in our country and serves as a remembrance of the victims and those that fled from racial terror in America.

Approaching the memorial, the form is dark, mysterious. As you get closer, a glow from beyond the forest of monuments beckons. At the threshold, massive monuments rest silently on the ground. Quickly the ground begins to give way, spilling light out under each monument. Down the first ramp, each is lit from below by a narrow beam of light. As you transition, no more are the monuments engaged with your body; they now fly above your head. At this point, lighting each monument gives way to a pattern of uplights that create a dappled, uneven effect on the above. As if to say, there are too many to count. Words cannot fully express the emotion of experience in this place, the weight of history reflected in the multitudes of monuments floating above the earth.