Category Archives: Public History

NC Committee Endorses Neo-Confederate History

Update: Perhaps “Endorse” is too strong a word for the post’s title, but despite tough questions from two historians on the commission this Lost Cause nonsense was given a level of legitimacy that it does not deserve. We wouldn’t feature debunked scientific theories in such a setting, so why do we tolerate it in history?

Last night North Carolina’s Committee on Confederate Monuments and Memorials held a meeting in Durham to discuss the ongoing controversy. As many of you know last year a Confederate statue in Durham was toppled over and severely damaged beyond repair. I am a big fan of these public meetings as they give residents the opportunity to share their opinions and perspectives, but last night’s gathering was deeply disappointing. Continue reading

Dylann Roof’s Confederate Flag

Yesterday I read that the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is planning to display the nylon Confederate flag that was removed from the state house grounds in Columbia, South Carolina following the murder of nine church members by Dylann Roof in 2015. This was the plan all along when it was removed, but the funds that were to be allocated for a proper display have yet to materialize. This has placed the staff of the museum in an awkward position since they are mandated to display it with or without funding. Continue reading

James I. Robertson’s Confederate Monument Rant

Update: Check out this interview of Robertson by Peter Carmichael from this year’s CWI. It’s well worth watching. Pete did a good job of focusing Robertson on his work during the centennial as well as his many books.

Recently historian James I. Robertson delivered the keynote address at a symposium on the history of Civil War monuments and the current debate at James Madison University. As I suggest in the title, “rant” is a more appropriate characterization of his presentation. Continue reading

When It Comes to Monuments, Location Matters

This week I am in Washington, D.C. working with roughly 35 history educators alongside the incredible staff at Ford’s Theatre. We are exploring the history and memory of Reconstruction through a wide range of places, including monuments throughout the city. Yesterday we stopped off at the African American Civil War Memorial in the historic Shaw District. Continue reading

Blood on the Confederate Monument

Update: More from Maya Little on why she vandalized the Confederate monument on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus with her own blood.

Earlier this week Maya Little, a PhD student in the history program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was arrested for defacing the controversial Silent Sam monument. After spending a few hours in jail she answered a couple of questions for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Continue reading

Bring the National Memorial for Peace and Justice to Your Classroom and Community

Update: Here is a link [PDF] to a list of lynchings by county.

The new National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which was open to the public this past week in Montgomery, Alabama, offers history educators a unique opportunity to engage students around the ongoing debate about monuments. As many of you know this new memorial commemorates the thousands of black Americans who were lynched between 1877 and 1950. Continue reading