The memorial is a maze of concrete and steel. Visitors are asked to stay off the grass, and follow the steps and sidewalks through the cemented cemetery that houses rusting representations of racism, death, and injustice. Statues of slaves bound by shackles, an infant dangling from its mother’s arms, reach toward the entrance as exit as you make your way to the memorial site. A narrative engraved on wall stone offers a storied history of white supremacy, racial terrorism, and lynchings in the southern United States. The narrative context feels moot, but necessary, as some people silently read the passages to themselves while others congregate to share whispered conversations between monuments, absorbing the enormous weight and significance of the sacred space that demands a church-like reverence.

The words and symbols tell a story of intergenerational, racialized, state-sanctioned genocide. The memorial and companion museum (housed offsite in a former slave warehouse)...

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