Memorializing African-American lynching victims is past due, but it must be only a start


Published 7:12 am, Sunday, May 13, 2018


The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which just opened in Montgomery, Alabama, forces America to reckon with the lynching of more than 4,000 African-Americans. But this should only be the beginning of the historical reckoning.

Over the past two centuries, racial violence has also targeted Native Americans, Mexicans and Chinese. Recognizing other histories of racial violence will not detract from the memorial’s urgent work. Rather it will help us to better understand what it is that we must mourn. The mass lynching of African-Americans was more than a tragic national mistake: It was central to how a nation built…

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