The Roots & Common To Perform At Memorial For Lynching Victims

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Next month, the National Memorial For Peace And Justice opens in Montgomery, Alabama. With the museum opening its doors to the public, some of Hip-Hop’s most celebrated voices will be on hand to promote awareness.

The Equal Justice Initiative, responsible for the monument and museum, has organized a two-day summit where musicians including The Roots and Common, as well as Usher, Kirk Franklin, The Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, and Bebe Winans are among performers. The concert will take place on the second day, April 27, at the Riverwalk Amphitheater.

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The EJI’s website explains the significance of this memorial and its void in history: “No prominent monument or memorial exists to commemorate the thousands of African Americans who were lynched during the era of racial terrorism in America. EJI has documented over 4,000 racial terror lynchings of Black men, women, and children, who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. The era of racial terror had a profound impact on the entire nation, as millions of Black people fled to urban communities in the North and West as refugees from violent racism.”

While the Civil War’s Confederacy has been prominently honored in the American South for more than a century, the victims of this heinous injustice often go unmentioned or recognized. The mission statement continues, “The phenomenon of racial terror lynchings has not received much cultural recognition in contrast with the thousands of plaques, statues, and monuments that record, celebrate, and lionize the Confederacy and Confederate leaders. In the American South, there are hundreds of memorials to the defenders of slavery, and leaders who championed racial segregation and white supremacy, including many who perpetrated violent crimes against black citizens during the era of racial terror. In Montgomery alone, there are 59 monuments and memorials to the Confederacy.”

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Congressman John Lewis, Ava DuVernay, Gloria Steinem, and former Vice President Al Gore are expected to speak at the summit, in addition to Common, who is also slated for the musical concert.

Earlier this month, Common’s August Greene group with Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins released their eponymous debut.