In Alabama, US’s first-ever memorial to the victims of lynching take shape
On the corner of Washington and Decatur streets in Montgomery, Alabama, a visitor can feel history pressing in from every side. Just down the street is the church where Martin Luther King Jr. and others planned the Montgomery bus boycott. Two blocks away sits the First White House of the Confederacy, where Jefferson Davis once lived. But although the city is crowded with historical markers—including, by one count, 59 Confederate memorials, and a similar number devoted to the civil-rights movement—you won’t find many markers of the racial violence following Reconstruction.
Soon, however, on a six-acre site overlooking Montgomery’s Cottage Hill neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from the Rosa Parks Museum, the Memorial to Peace and Justice  will serve as a national monument to the victims of lynchings. It will be the first such memorial in the U.S., and, its founders hope, it will show how lynchings of black people were essential to maintaining white power in the Jim Crow South.