By Terence Shumaker
Between Reconstruction and WWII, more than 4000 Blacks were murdered by lynching across twelve Southern states. This lasting smear on our society, a direct result of several hundred years of slavery, had been hidden from our history books until recently.
Now, in light of recent racially motivated incidents, and the blossoming of Black voices in education, politics and arts and lectures, this dark side of our history is being pulled into the light. One such moving example of this illumination is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Its mission is to help all of us acknowledge our history and how it has shaped our society. It is the embodiment of what has been termed “critical theory.”
But critical theory is nothing more than acknowledging our history, especially those parts that saw the humiliation, degradation and subjugation of human beings. It does not demand us to feel guilty, ashamed, or to hate our nation. It asks us to recognize our history and to try to realize what part it has played in the development of our society.
Acknowledgement and reconciliation can only lead to greater understanding and healing. And we need that right now.
Please take a few minutes to take brief tours of what could be the most important museum and memorial to help us begin to heal. And please share this with everyone you know and don’t know.
Equal Justice Initiative Museum:
Equal Justice Initiative Memorial:
Cover Image: Nkyinkim Installation by Kwame Akoto Bamfo at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, By Soniakapadia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68491554