The Legacy Museum
The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration opened to the public on April 26, 2018, in Montgomery, Alabama. The 11,000-square-foot museum is built on the site of a former warehouse where enslaved Black people were imprisoned, and is located midway between an historic slave market and the main river dock and train station where tens of thousands of enslaved people were trafficked during the height of the domestic slave trade. Montgomery’s proximity to the fertile Black Belt region, where slave-owners amassed large enslaved populations to work the rich soil, elevated Montgomery’s prominence in domestic trafficking, and by 1860, Montgomery was the capital of the domestic slave trade in Alabama, one of the two largest slave-owning states in America.
Prior to the opening in 2018, I had the opportunity to restore and colorize the photos shown in lightboxes on the building’s exterior.
Photo by Mickey Welsh
EJI has curated sculptures from Titus Kaphar and Sanford Biggers, a wide range of videography and animated content from leading filmmakers and artists, and fine art pieces including works from Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Yvonne Meo and Kay Brown, art which challenges and inspires visitors. Design and creative partners also include Local Projects, Tim Lewis and TALA, Molly Crabapple, Orchid Création, Stink Studios, Human Pictures, HBO, and Google.
An unparalleled resource for researchers, the museum houses the nation’s most comprehensive collection of data on lynching. It also presents previously unseen archival information about the domestic slave trade brought to life through new technology.