Civil Rights Memorial

From Academic Kids

The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama is a memorial to 40 people who died in the struggle for equal and integrated treatment of people of European and African descent. The memorial is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The names included belong to those who died between 1954 and 1968. Those dates were chosen because in 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was unlawful. 1968 is the year of Martin Luther King's assassination. The monument was created by Maya Lin who also created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. The memorial was dedicated in 1989.

The concept of Maya Lin's design is based on the soothing and healing effect of water. It was inspired by Martin Luther King's quotation "... we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. ...", from the I Have a Dream speech, delivered at the National Mall, Washington D.C. August 28, 1963. The memorial is a round stone inverted cone, which is a fountain. A film of water flows over the base of the cone, which contains the 40 names. It is possible to touch the smooth film of water and temporarily alter the surface film, which quickly returns to smoothness.

As such, the memorial represents the aspiration of the American civil rights movement against racism.

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