Confederate Symbols in Monument and Memory - 2019.05.17

Alex Tabor's picture

Here marks the beginning of a discussion series following ongoing contests over the placement of monuments to the Confederacy and other forms of commemoration on public grounds and examining debates over their purpose and implications.

The Texas Tribune covered the passing of legislation in Texas's upper chamber of a bill prohibiting the relocation of monuments twenty-five years and older unless the approval of a two-thirds majority in both chambers is reached. Despite the emotional and contentious resistance of black lawmakers, appealing to the history inherently omitted by the placement of monuments commemorating the Confederacy on public grounds, the bill's originator Senator Brandon Creighton championed its 19-12 passage. Senator Borris Miles, D-Houston, described the bill as "disgraceful." (Alex Samuels, "'Pain and heartache' in the Texas Senate during debate on Confederate monuments," The Texas Tribune, May 7, 2019.)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Rosalind Bentley explains in "Plan to add markers to Atlanta’s Confederate monuments hits snag" how financial barriers to the proper contextualizing of the historical commemoration of the Confederacy, specifically in the naming of streets and placement of several monuments, has painfully prolonged one means of redress in Atlanta. Questions of who is responsible for purchasing and placing new markers emphasizing the role of slavery in the Civil War are but one means the effort to address the history of Confederate symbols has been forestalled. (April 7, 2019)

Coming posts will feature updates and new information on battles over Confederate symbols in other states, and look into bills proposed in Congress regarding their placement and removal. 

Confederate Symbols in Monument and Memory is an H-Slavery discussion series on monuments and memorials commemorating the Confederacy and historical memory. Thoughts and ideas are invited, please share by replying below.