The Civil Rights Memorial is a memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, to 41 people who died in the struggle for the equal and integrated treatment of all people, regardless of race, during the 1954-1968 civil rights movement in the United States.
The monument was created by Maya Lin. The concept of Lin’s design is based on the soothing and healing effect of water. It was inspired by a paraphrase from King: “…we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream….”
The memorial is a fountain in the form of an asymmetric inverted stone cone. A film of water flows over the base of the cone, which contains the 41 names included. It is possible to touch the smooth film of water and to alter it temporarily, which quickly returns to smoothness. As such, the memorial represents the aspirations of the civil rights movement to end legal racial segregation.
I think Maya wants the audience to hear the peacefulness of the running water and realise the metaphore that peace will arise from achiving what the people remembered were fighting for.
The People tend to react in quiet observation and walk around it reading inscriptions. There is also an annual pilgrimage the site.
Sight, sound and touch are the senses employed while engaging with the work.