Oprah shares a first look of the lynching victims memorial

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

On 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey toured the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala. The memorial is dedicated to the thousands of victims of racially-motivated lynchings, which continued to occur for decades after the Civil War.

The project was headed by civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson and his team have chronicled over 4,300 lynchings throughout the U.S. and have worked diligently to bring knowledge and closure to the victims’ families.

The memorial itself comprises 805 steel markers, one for each county where lynchings took place, with victims’ names inscribed on them.

Each marker hangs from a single cable. The pieces are designed to raise periodically as a reminder of the inhumanity and injustice of the lynchings. Oprah commented that the brown rust on the steel is similar to the skin color of the victims.

Along with the memorial, Stevenson is opening a museum documenting what he calls “the ugly parts” of American history, from enslavement to mass incarceration.

The six-acre memorial will open to the public on April 26.

60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBS.

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