The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum has won a prestigious tourism award for its dedication to teaching Americans about the harsh realities of race in the country.
According to AL.com, the Alabama Tourism Department honored the museum with its Attraction of the Year award August 21. Since the museum's inception, more than 400,000 visitors from around the U.S. and the world has visited the monument to history.
Lawyer Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative spearheaded the Montogomery-based museum's creation. The horrific history of lynchings in America is front and center. Stone tablets with thousands of victims are showcased. Soil samples from lynching sites are displayed and there are interactive media exhibits to help educate the public.
The work of the museum has inspired others. The Denton Record-Chronicle reports the Denton County Community Remembrance Project will host a funeral for the victims of lynchings in Denton County.
In December 1922, two Black men were taken from the Pilot Point jail in Texas and reportedly lynched. Family members never heard from them again. Over the years, the Denton County Community Remembrance Project has worked diligently to preserve the memories of those lost.
This December, the volunteer organization will host a ceremonial burial for victims of lynchings in Denton County. Volunteer Cecelia Harris told the Record-Chronicle that their murders were lost to history.“There were many more,” Harris said. “It wasn’t talked about. Someone they know just disappeared.”
Another volunteer, Texas Woman’s University grad student Hollie Teague collected soil from the county to be displayed at the Legacy Museum.
“I wondered what it would be like to know I was about to be murdered by an officer,” she said. “I tried to be thoughtful and honor him. Then we said a prayer and collected the soil and sent it back.”
The ceremonial burial is scheduled on December 14 — the 97th anniversary of their deaths.