Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
October 4, 2017 11:42 AM   Subscribe

"Viewers walking through the pavilion will gradually descend. As they do, the rust-colored columns will hang above them, a frank suggestion of dangling corpses."

Holy shit. I keep typing and deleting, not sure what to say. This will be a powerful place.
posted by scottatdrake at 12:37 PM on October 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm sorry it took this long for something to be created to memorialize those thousands of victims, but better late than never, I suppose? That rings so hollow, yet... I'm not glad that we have to have a memorial, but I'm glad that this is the kind of memorial being created. Such obvious thought and care has gone into its development.

Those jars. So haunting.
posted by PearlRose at 12:42 PM on October 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Bryan Stevenson should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Or something even better. (He already got the MacArthur Genius.)
posted by allthinky at 1:05 PM on October 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm glad to hear the Milwaukee museum is reopening - last I read about it, it was closed. The Montgomery museum looks incredible as well. Long overdue.

The impression I always got in school was that during slavery, white folks viewed black people like animals, useful only for work. When I eventually began to read about lynching (and the mutilation and torture that often preceded it), it became clear how inadequate that explanation was. What would be the purpose of torturing an animal like that, if your motive was simply economic? It makes no sense until you reckon with the hatred and fear that underpin the actions.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:23 PM on October 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by rmd1023 at 1:56 PM on October 4, 2017

If Smithsonian had any kind of circulation, or had published this a little closer to the date of the violent protest in Charlottesville, there would be super ironically ignorant pundits on the TV or people in white man in the street interviews right now saying trash like "I don't want to be reminded of unpleasant things when I look at monuments and battle flags." (I guess we heard the vague version of the same thing with the many comments about protests before football games.)

I just fucking expect to hear some exceptionally unaware comments about this, if it gets any traction with a wider public.
posted by puddledork at 4:04 PM on October 4, 2017

posted by Max Power at 6:01 PM on October 4, 2017

Bryan Stevenson was a keynote speaker at the Americans for the Arts conference this year, and he was a-maze-ing. I'm so glad that the Memorial to Peace and Justice is moving forward.
posted by desuetude at 8:57 AM on October 5, 2017

Does the list include the Mexicans and Italians that were lynched by the same mobs?
posted by shnarg at 12:57 PM on October 5, 2017

I wonder if someday we'll come to include Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray and so many others like them in this memorial.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:52 AM on October 6, 2017

Does the list include the Mexicans and Italians that were lynched by the same mobs?

This monument, the Memorial to Peace and Justice, focuses specifically on racial terror lynchings of black people. The report of research on which the monument is based explains the criteria for the term "racial terror lynching" and distinguishes that from other forms of racial violence, "frontier justice," etc. The report does include a section on racial terror lynchings of Mexicans.
posted by desuetude at 12:36 PM on October 6, 2017

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