Montgomery's history of racial violence is bringing a building boom to the Confederacy's first capital.
Hotels are rising and historic buildings undergoing revitalization because of Bryan Stevenson's two memorials to black victims of slavery and lynching, as reported in a New York Times article Wednesday.
Visitors are streaming to Montgomery to view Stevenson's Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The Legacy Museum in downtown Montgomery documents the old cotton port's past as one of the South's top slavery markets. The National Memorial remembers those lynched in the United States, primarily in Southern states, from Reconstruction until after World War II.
As Montgomery, Birmingham, Atlanta, Charleston and other cities express sorrow for their slavery legacies, Southern legislatures pass repressive anti-abortion laws.
The horror of lynching was intertwined with white men's desire to control women's sexuality. Many of the lynchings resulted from perceptions of black men's insults to white women. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and other states' harsh laws to criminalize abortion echo Jim Crow laws from the Reconstruction era.
As downtown Montgomery atones for its racially violent past, the state has entered a new era of repression with its anti-abortion law.