This year’s Black History Month has truly been one for the history books – cliché intended. With the premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther movie last week, and all the POSITIVE energy it has garnered for black people of all nations, this month has been one full of endless embrace-ment of black culture – in particular, African culture. And to continue that same momentum, and ENERGY, the news of a new black history museum and memorial to be constructed in Montgomery, Alabama has regained steam on the news’ pipelines. The Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based civil rights organization, are in the works of opening a memorial to commemorate the thousands of victims of lynching that happened all throughout the Southern US as well as open another African-American History museum that will focus primarily on a general scope of African-American history encompassing enslavement to rise of the mass incarceration of blacks in the more recent decades.
Originally due to open last year, the museum and memorial are both now due to open later this year, in April. As a 6-acre monument, as the Equal Justice Initiative explains, “this memorial will feature a series of columns, each representing a county where “racial terror lynching” took place... The names of the victims will be engraved on the columns.” The first of its kind to honor the many victims, up to approximately 4,000 black victims, of lynching who were killed between the late 1870s up until the 1950s, this memorial will be worth the pilgrimage. It will also represent one of many first steps needed to get through the pain of America’s past. And to get through pain, one must sit in the pain. Recognize that it exists. See the good, the bad and the ugly and finally accept it, ALL OF IT. Then, from there, a process to move forward can be ignited. This memorial is a way to remind America that to mend the atrocities of it’s past, it must first acknowledge that it did happen. No longer will ignorance be a just excuse and no longer will pretending that a portion of history didn’t happen pass as a viable option to overlook the centuries of oppression inflicted upon the bodies of millions.
This memorial opens the door to healing.
On the same site, and just around the bend from the lynching memorial, a new museum, called From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, will also be erected. Located primarily, on the site of former notable slave confinements, the museum will focus on outlining the history of black people’s journey in America from slavery to mass imprisonment, as seen primarily today.
With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the Blue Lives that are taking our – black – lives as well as the true lack of prison reform laws being set in place as the forefront of today’s struggles for blacks, it is no shock that mass incarceration has become the new form of “keeping us – blacks – oppressed.” A vicious cycle, that has left many unable to truly rehabilitate after incarceration, this museum will take a deeper look in to how we got to where we are today from such a tortured and repressed past.
With both the museum and the memorial set to open soon, this is one of many power moves in our history, Black History, that is, that will continue the momentum of raising awareness to the true inequalities we have faced and still face even in the 21st century. As it has been said, what is done in the dark, will always come to the light. And both initiatives begin to shine light on the very portions of America’s history that it tries so hard to deny or hide. Slowly, but surely, the process of mending what was deeply broken will begin, but only after acknowledgment and understanding that America was not founded on a fairy tale. Rather it was founded on the backs of and with the hands of the many enslaved – from blacks, gypsies, native Americans, and any other culture with deeper hued skin or simply countries seen as “other” in relation to our so-called Caucasian forefathers.
At the end of the day, we must mend our wounds before we can grow, healthier and stronger. This just happens to be one step in the direction of healing.
You can read the full article regarding both initiatives as follows: Time: The First U.S. Memorial for Lynching Victims Will Open in Alabama written by, Maya Rhodan.
As usual, read, share and repeat. Remember, knowledge is power.
So, gain as much of it as your mind allows.
:: Post Rationalizing(s)
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
― Audre Lorde ―