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Lynching memorial forces America to reckon with its past

Stones hanging from the ceiling at lynching memorial
Names and dates of lynching victims are inscribed on steel monuments at The National Memorial for Peace. Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens this week in Montgomery, Alabama, creating the United States' first memorial to recognize and honor the thousands of black people murdered through the nation's history in racially motivated lynchings, reports the New York Times.

The big picture: The museum makes up for a lack of traditional artifacts with firsthand accounts, stories and documentation of lynchings and how families were affected by racial terror and the domestic slave trade. It also documents how the country's system of racial inequality evolved from slavery into Jim Crow segregation to become today's issue of mass incarceration.

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