On Monday, October 15, 2018, a small group of Evergreen members traveled to Montgomery, AL to tour the newly opened Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Those who traveled included Pastor Lucy Waechter Webb, Elder Jeff Blankenship, Elder Lee Kezar, Mitchel Griffin (Mission Developer), and Aylen Mercado.
The Legacy Museum “explores the history of racial inequality and its relationship to a range of contemporary issues from mass incarceration to police violence.” The Museum is located just blocks from one of the most active slave auction sites in America.
Pastor Lucy Waechter Webb said, “The narrative of the museum was powerful for me, and the physical experience of walking in the present with comrades today through the pillars of the history of lynching at the memorial was impactful.”
The group spent their morning at The Legacy Museum learning about America’s domestic slave trade. That afternoon they walked just a few blocks to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. “The Memorial brings to light that the practice of lynching and violence against African American people happened in every community in the South. It was a powerfully sobering memorial,” said Mitchel Griffin.
The Equal Justice Initiative has documented 4400 lynchings of African Americans in the United States between 1877 and 1950. As EJI explains, “lynchings in the American South were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes. Lynching was targeted racial violence at the core of a systematic campaign of terror perpetuated in furtherance of an unjust social order.” Lee Kezar said, “[The] experiences are not only information-giving, but also emotion-giving and perspective-giving as they transform the tragedies we hear on the news to something tangible yet complex and ever more painful. I left the experience feeling more connected to and disturbed than ever...”
Learn more about the Equal Justice Initiative or The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice by visiting their website, at https://museumandmemorial.eji.org. To learn more about the Lynching Sites Project Memphis visit https://lynchingsitesmem.org/.