MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - While protests and violence erupt around Confederate memorials across the country, a different kind of monument is quietly being constructed right here in Alabama.
The monument is the first in the country dedicated to victims of racially-motivated lynching.
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) announced Monday that The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and an African-American history museum will open on April 26, 2018.
More than 4,000 black Americans were hanged, shot, burned alive, drowned, beaten, or otherwise murdered from the late 1800s to 1950s, according to the EJI. Each of them, will be remembered through six-foot corten steel beams, that from a distance look eerily like they are hanging.
History is heavy in the air at the six-acre site, on the corner of Washington and Decatur streets in Montgomery, which is just steps away from what was once one of the most prominent slave markets in America.
Surrounding the memorial will be a monument for every county in America where a racial lynching took place. Founders are inviting counties and community groups to take those monuments back home, hoping that eventually the replicas will be dispersed and displayed among 20 states, from Utah to California.
The accompanying museum sits a few blocks away on what was once a slave warehouse. Visitors will be immersed in the sights and sounds of the domestic slave trade using innovative virtual reality technology to experience what it was like to be imprisoned and waiting to be sold on the nearby auction block.
The Legacy Museum will focus on issues from enslavement to mass incarceration and will also explore segregation. The EJI has partnered with the same design firm who created the 9/11 memorial museum in New York City for the project. The museum will also include art installations from contemporary African-American artists.
Tickets for admission to the museum and the memorial are now available at this link.