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Exhibit on History of Lynchings in America Coming to Brooklyn Museum

 Shirah Dedman, Phoebe Dedman and Luz Myles visit Shreveport, Louisiana, where their relative Thomas Miles, Sr., was lynched in 1912. Their story is one of many included in the upcoming exhibit “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America”.
Shirah Dedman, Phoebe Dedman and Luz Myles visit Shreveport, Louisiana, where their relative Thomas Miles, Sr., was lynched in 1912. Their story is one of many included in the upcoming exhibit “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America”.
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Rog Walker and Bee Walker/Equal Justice Initiative

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — A new exhibit set to open soon at the Brooklyn Museum will tackle a particularly tough issue: the history of lynchings in America.

Starting July 26, the museum will display an interactive exhibit based on research of 4,000 lynchings of African-Americans between 1877 and 1950, the museum said.

The research, conducted by the Equal Justice Initiative and its founder, social justice leader and MacArthur "genius grant" recipient Bryan Stevenson, includes audio clips, documentary footage and photographs that explore “the profound effects of the racial terror committed against black people and black communities, which continue to shape our nation today,” the museum said in a press release.

The exhibit will not contain explicit photos in order to “approach this topic respectfully,” the museum said, but will instead focus on personal stories collected and digitized on EJI’s project website, created in partnership with Google.

“The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America” will also include work from African-American artists in the theme of racism in America with work from Sanford Biggers, Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon and others.

The exhibit will be on view from July 26 through Sept. 3, opening the day after a special event held at the museum with Stevenson and the exhibit's artists. The event begins at 7 p.m. on July 25 and admission is $25.

In a statement, Stevenson said he hopes the new exhibit helps people consider their country's history through art, "a powerful tool in getting a society to think more honestly about human rights and human dignity.”

"Our nation's history of racial injustice casts a shadow across the American landscape. This shadow cannot be lifted until we shine the light of truth on the destructive violence that shaped our nation, traumatized people of color, and compromised our commitment to the rule of law and equal justice," he said.

The museum said the exhibit was created in part to raise awareness of the opening of EJI’s Memorial to Peace and Justice — a memorial created for the victims of lynchings — to open in Montgomery, Alabama in 2018.