Between 1870 and 1950, thousands of American men and women were victims of racial violence — in many cases, lynched, in public events attended by thousands — solely because of the color of their skin. Last week, a powerful tribute to these victims opened to the public. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice includes 800 six-foot-tall monuments engraved with the names of each victim. But for many descendants from these men and women, the lives they led and the real stories behind their murders remain a mystery. That’s where the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Program at Northeastern University Law School steps in. The organization has looked into about 500 cases of lynching — uncovering the real stories behind these murders and putting them all online.

Jim Braude was joined by the two people behind that effort, Northeastern University Law Professor and former Judge Margaret Burnham and political science professor and Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at MIT, Melissa Nobles.