An Alabama city known for being the first capital of the Confederacy is set to become the site of a privately funded memorial to black lynching victims in the United States.

The nonprofit group Equal Justice Initiative says it plans to build a monument and an accompanying museum in Montgomery. It hopes to open both in 2017.

The group says 4,075 blacks were killed by lynching in the South between 1877 and 1950. Group director Bryan Stevenson, says the aim is to further racial discourse by openly acknowledging a painful past in U.S. history, much as Germany has Holocaust memorials and South Africa a museum about its past of systematic segregation or apartheid.

Some, however, say a lynching memorial might be divisive at a time of national tensions over race.