Monument Avenue

The latest news out of Virginia suggests that it is just a matter of time before the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond is removed. Lee will follow the same fate as Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, and Matthew Fontaine Maury, who once looked down on the people of Richmond from atop their pedestals Read more

One of the most remarkable things taking place on Richmond’s Monument Avenue is the way black Richmonders have appropriated the space around the Robert E. Lee monument. I was not surprised by the tagging of the monuments or even the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue, but the wide range of activities taking place at Read more

It is impossible to keep up with the news coming out of Richmond. I am still having difficulty wrapping my head around the fact that at some point in the near future the Confederate monuments on Monument Avenue will be removed. Until that time I suspect that demonstrators will continue to appropriate the Lee Circle Read more

This week 60 Minutes aired an episode on the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments. It comes just a little over a week before the publication of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History. It is one of the best short segments on the subject. The interviews Read more

What Monument Avenue Does

There was nothing inevitable about the end of slavery in the United States. Enslaved people fueled this country’s economy, generated great amounts of wealth for their owners, and helped to define American Exceptionalism for many, who envisioned a greater role on the world stage for this slave holding nation. One of them was Matthew Fontaine Read more

Update: Mayor Stoney’s full remarks can be found here. This is an interesting development. Today the mayor of Richmond announced the creation of the Monument Avenue Commission, which will examine ways to add historical context to its Confederate monuments. A few weeks ago I suggested that Richmond will likely not follow other cities like New Read more

New Orleans Should Look to Richmond

The city of New Orleans is offering the rest of the country a lesson on how not to deal with Confederate iconography in public spaces. In advance of a decision that could come as soon as early as next week, the city is holding a series of public discussions. Mistrust and questions about the motivation Read more

It is somewhat amusing to listen to people who have suddenly awoken to the fact that there are monuments to Confederate politicians, generals and common soldiers in their own communities. Many have chosen to voice their outrage by calling for monuments to be torn down and/or removed from public land. Since my recent trip to Read more

Frank Tyson’s Civil War Memory

The following two video interviews with Frank Tyson are part of an oral history project at the website, Race and Class in DuBois’ Seventh Ward. The first one focuses on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. The next video focuses on Birth of a Nation. The rest of the video interviews from the project can be Read more