EJI Opens Legacy Plaza
EJI's new Legacy Plaza opens in downtown Montgomery today. Located next to the Legacy Museum, the new 2.5-acre outdoor park is a gathering space where visitors can reflect on their experience at the museum.
“We’re really excited to welcome people to the plaza, to have the plaza open as a place for reflection and discussion about the content of our museum,” EJI director Bryan Stevenson said.
Thousands of visitors from around the country visit the Legacy Museum and EJI's National Memorial for Peace and Justice every week, often in large groups that need a place to meet after everyone has made their way through the museum.
“They really want to talk,” Mr. Stevenson said. “They really want to sit. They really want to reflect.”
As a reflective space designed to preserve the sanctity of the experience at the museum, the park is filled with landscaping and artwork, including a piece by local artist Kevin King. "I'm thankful that I can have a piece of artwork in this sacred space representing these civil rights heroes," he told WSFA.
A new billboard honors local civil rights legends Claudette Colvin, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon, Joanne Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Jonathan Daniels.
The plaza also includes the Legacy Café, a new quick-service restaurant that will feature grab-and-go food as well as hot sandwiches from local chef Alana Dennis. Groups and families can share meals together at picnic tables throughout the plaza.
Free parking is now available to all museum visitors, with expanded spaces in a parking area adjacent to the plaza.
Mr. Stevenson told WSFA he hopes the experience of coming to the sites and the conversations that follow will lead to a deeper commitment to fight against bigotry, discrimination, and violence.
“I always say I think there’s something that feels more like freedom waiting for us in this country," he said. "I think there’s something that feels more like equality, feels more like justice and is waiting for us. But we can’t get there if we’re afraid to have the important conversations that we need to have to recover from the long history of racial inequality and racial injustice."