"Here’s the truth about the ubiquity of racism: I’m 56 years old, and there’s a bleeding column in that memorial for every place I’ve ever lived.
The sheer numbers are devastating, but it’s their placement that works most powerfully to convey the magnitude of loss. They are mounted at eye level as visitors first enter that part of the memorial, but as the floor slopes downward, the columns begin to rise. About halfway down the walkway, looking up and straining to read the engraved names, visitors suddenly realize that they are standing beneath a representation of bodies that have been hung from nooses and left to dangle there.
“God, they just go on and on,” I whispered to my husband. A black man standing nearby turned and looked at me. I couldn’t read his expression."