Montgomery, Alabama

Unfortunately, we were not able to take pictures in The Legacy Museum:From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration so I am not able to provide pictures that would help me to fully share that moving experience with you. Let me just say as a criminal defense attorney I thought I would be numb to the portion of the museum dedicated to mass incarceration. This was so far from the truth. As I strolled through the museum, reading letters from prisoners, watching video footage, and taking in the abundance of other information provided by the Equal Justice Initiative I began to cry as I thought about the parallels between my work as a criminal defense attorney in rural North Carolina and the work done by the Equal Justice Initiative. I left the museum reinvigorated and with a deep appreciation for the work that we do as criminal defense attorneys dedicated to representing the poor and disenfranchised.

With that being said, you do not have to be an attorney to appreciate the museum. The Legacy Museum lays out a clear path in order to demonstrate how mass incarceration is a modern day form of dealing with the undesirable black population after the abolition of slavery.

Ally and Caleb beside the monument recognizing those individuals lynched in my families home county, Bertie County, North Carolina

Much to Ally and Caleb’s chagrin, lightning forced us to have to wait patiently for about an hour before we were able to enter The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Not to be deterred, I stood in the waiting area ignoring their “are we seriously going to stand here” stares. When we were finally allowed to enter the memorial, I dashed into the rain with the young adults slowly trailing behind. 

Author: Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

4 thoughts

  1. Thank you Tonza for always continuing to enlighten and educate us. Would never have known about this place if it werenโ€™t for you…

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