Meeting began at 7:07pm
Nan welcomed the attendees and introduced Michael Rabbit and Leon Reed, presenting on their recent visit to the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Museum and Memorial opened in April 2018. The project was spearheaded by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative.
Lynching maintained white supremacy. As a country, we don’t talk about it. The memorial was designed to document the terror and to remember the thousands of Black people who were murdered for alleged acts that were seen to challenge white power in even the most trivial of ways.
More than 4,000 people were lynched between 1877 and 1950. Hanging was common, but people were lynched in other horrible, highly-visible ways.
Michael and Leon shared photographs of the Memorial and talked about the powerful impact it had on them. Participants engaged in small-group discussions to reflect on questions evoked by the experience of the Memorial: What do we know about lynching? Why were we not taught this history? How is racial terror present today? How do we heal? What is our call to action?
As part of the Memorial’s mission, communities across the United States are encouraged to memorialize the people who were lynched on their soil with a site marker and a larger monument housed in a place conducive for reflection. In Cook County, a man named William Bell was lynched in 1924 on property now owned by UIC. The County is working with UIC and the DuSable Museum of African American History to be part of the Remembrance Project.
Michael showed the following videos during the presentation:
Why Build a Lynching Memorial?
Photographing the Memorial
Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration
Meeting ended at 8:20pm.
Minutes submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson.