A museum built on the site of a former warehouse where enslaved Black people were jailed before being sold to auction opened in Montgomery, Alabama, on Thursday.
The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is meant to call attention to the country’s racist past by showing dramatizations of slavery, lynchings, segregation and mass incarceration.
The project is the brainchild of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a Montgomery-based nonprofit organization that gives legal aid to individuals who may be wrongly convicted, NBC News reports.
Organizers received $20 million in private donations to get the project off the ground.
The museum uses “unique technology” at the 11,000 square-foot site that offers visitors an in-depth look at what African-Americans have been subjected to in the U.S. for centuries. It features “rarely seen first-person accounts of the domestic slave trade, EJI’s critically acclaimed research materials, videography, exhibits on lynching and recently composed content on segregation,” according to the website.
Located a few blocks from the museum is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which features hundreds of steel monuments that show the names of victims of lynching all over the country. Organizers said they found the names of 4,400 Black people who were killed through lynching or racially motivated attacks between 1877 and 1950, according to NBC News.