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U.S. slavery museum reopens for first time since coronavirus pandemic began

A man inside the Justice and the Legacy Museum is reflected on the front door, as an outside view is seen through the door in Montgomery, Ala., April 22, 2018.
A man inside the Justice and the Legacy Museum is reflected on the front door, as an outside view is seen through the door in Montgomery, Ala., April 22, 2018. Brynn Anderson / The Associated Press

A museum that’s linked to the national lynching memorial in Montgomery is reopening for the first time since the pandemic began.

The Legacy Museum, which tells the story of slavery and its legacy in the United States, will offer free admission for a limited time, but crowd sizes are being restricted and face masks are required to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

The museum and Legacy Pavilion are open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Read more: Almost 2,000 more Black lynchings during U.S. Reconstruction era, report finds

The lynching memorial, the museum and the Legacy Pavilion are all operated by the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative, which announced the reopening in a statement.

A new museum exhibit explores the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which often is referred to as the start of the modern civil rights movement in 1955.

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A new exhibit at Legacy Pavilion, located beside the memorial, will focus on slavery in the North, which hasn’t received as much attention as Southern slavery.

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“Many coastal communities in the North and Mid-Atlantic region of the United States were built around human trafficking and the commerce generated by the enslaving and selling people.

This history has a legacy that has not been acknowledged and this exhibit is an effort to address this silence,” EJI founder Bryan Stevenson said in a statement.

Business in downtown Montgomery had urged the organization to reopen the attractions, which have received some 750,000 visitors since they opened in 2018, Stevenson told WSFA-TV.