Charles Reagan Wilson, former director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and current Cook Chair of History at the University of Mississippi
The courthouse is a physical and symbolic anchoring for the sense of community in the South. It’s a place of stability and common meeting ground. The Confederate monuments were placed on town squares for exactly that reason. In the old days, whites wanted those Confederate monuments there to recognize the importance of the Civil War experience to the South, so it’s the same reason you want to put a civil rights monument there.
James Hull, Coalition for Change Spokesman
The civil rights movement is also heritage. It’s also history. It’s the blood, sweat and tears of those who tried to bring the city together. We are going to recognize that.
John Marszalek, Mississippi State University’s Giles distinguished professor emeritus of history
What’s happening actually – and in the South particularly – it’s no secret that it was a place of Jim Crow-ism until the 1960s, so any memorialization of history was done so from the white point of view. With the civil rights movement, blacks began to vote and elect black officials, so for the past 25
years there have been more successful attempts to present not just the white perspective on the history of the South but to include the role blacks have played.