Freedom Monument Sculpture Park Named One of Top Places to Visit in 2024
The Equal Justice Initiative’s new site—Freedom Monument Sculpture Park—has made The New York Times’s list of the world’s top travel destinations for 2024.
The Times identifies only 52 places around the world and writes that EJI’s Legacy Sites are an especially inspiring experience for travelers interested in American history and its legacy.
The Times encourages visitors to come to Montgomery, Alabama, in 2024 to experience the new Freedom Monument Sculpture Park, a 17-acre park that will exhibit works by world-class artists like Kehinde Wiley, Simone Leigh, and Alison Saar as well as artifacts, including dwellings relocated from a cotton plantation and a pen where enslaved people were held.
The newest Legacy Site offers an immersive, interactive journey unlike any other. Visitors will listen to Muscogee family stories as they were told centuries ago and step inside a train car like those used to traffic enslaved people to Montgomery on this very spot overlooking the Alabama River.
At its heart stands the 43-foot-tall National Monument to Freedom, which is dedicated to the millions of enslaved Black people who were emancipated at the end of the Civil War. As the Times writes, “the steel-walled monument, which resembles an open book,” will be engraved with more than 120,000 surnames chosen by formerly enslaved people and officially registered in the 1870 Census.
Descendants will be able to locate family names memorialized on the monument and use kiosks at the visitor center to learn more about their family history.
“Freedom Monument Sculpture Park is a unique place where visitors can learn about the lives of enslaved people in the very location where they were trafficked and enslaved,” EJI Executive Director Bryan Stevenson said. “The National Monument to Freedom also provides a powerful opportunity for Black Americans to find their names—the names chosen by their foreparents and passed down to millions of Black families.”
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world have visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum since they opened in 2018.