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Lynching memorial adds new monument honoring 1950s victims

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The nation’s first memorial to lynching victims is adding a new monument to remember people killed during the 1950s in racially motivated attacks that often targeted early civil rights leaders.

The Equal Justice Initiative on Monday will dedicate the new monument at the Peace and Justice Memorial Center in Montgomery.

The monument will commemorate 24 people slain in racially motivated killings during the 1950s, including Emmett Till and voting rights activists Harry and Harriette Moore.

Till was 14 years old when he was beaten and killed in Mississippi in 1955 after claims he flirted with a white woman. The Moores were civil rights activists killed in 1951 when their Florida home was bombed.

“Our new monument continues our work of recognizing a part of American history that is too often overlooked or forgotten,” Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, said in a statement.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened last year in Montgomery to remember and share stories about some of the 4,400 African Americans slain in lynchings and other racial killings between 1877 and 1950.

The names of those killed, if they are known, are engraved on 800 steel columns with the location where lynchings happened.

The dedication and an evening concert also mark the first anniversary of the opening of the lynching memorial and a related museum, the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.

The Equal Justice Initiative estimates that 400,000 people have visited the sites since they opened last April.

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