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Articles on Confederate statues

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Charlottesville city workers drape a tarp over the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 2018. Debate over removing the statue continues today. AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Monuments ‘expire’ – but offensive monuments can become powerful history lessons

Once stripped of their symbolic power, problem monuments offer what educators call 'teachable moments,' helping people assess society's current values and compare them with what mattered in the past.
The Mississippi state flag, with a representation of the Confederate battle flag, is raised one last time over the state Capitol building on July 1, 2020. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Hit ’em where it hurts – how economic threats are a potent tool for changing people’s minds about the Confederate flag

Public officials and individual citizens alike are more likely to oppose the presence of Confederate symbols when informed it may be bad for local business.
Unveiling of a statue of Richard T. Greener, the first Black professor at the University of South Carolina, in 2018. Jason Ayer

What should replace Confederate statues?

As momentum builds to remove statutes that pay homage to Confederates and others who sought to uphold white supremacy, a historian explores questions about what should be erected in their place.
Protesters at the Richmond, Virginia monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee on June 18, 2020. Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

African Americans have long defied white supremacy and celebrated Black culture in public spaces

Protests of Confederate flags and monuments have grown since 2015, but resistance is not new. African Americans have been protesting against Confederate monuments since they were erected.
Brazil’s ‘Festa Confederada.’ Organizers say the annual event celebrates their Southern American heritage, but some Black Brazilians disagree. Jordan Brasher

Confederate flags fly worldwide, igniting social tensions and inflaming historic traumas

Symbols of the Confederacy can be seen in Brazil, Ireland, Germany and beyond. While some people may not grasp their racist history, others clearly fly the 'rebel flag' to defend white supremacy.
Construction workers extracted a Calhoun statue in Charleston, South Carolina on June 24, 2020. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Authorities are yanking the legacy of slaveholder John C. Calhoun from public sphere, but his bigotry remains embedded in American society

Despite his defense of slavery, the former vice president and US senator from South Carolina has been honored with statues and streets, schools and counties. That's finally changing.
Richmond’s towering 1890 Robert E. Lee statue is transformed by protests following the killing of George Floyd. John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Latest legal hurdle to removing Confederate statues in Virginia: The wishes of their long-dead white donors

A Richmond court says the city cannot remove its controversial Robert E. Lee sculpture because an 1890 land deed gave the Confederate monument 'to the people' of Virginia, not its government.
Richmond’s towering Robert E. Lee statue is transformed by protests following the killing of George Floyd. Is removal next? John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Dead white men get their say in court as Virginia tries to remove Robert E. Lee statues

On June 19, a court will decide whether Virginia must obey a 1890 deed that gave the state a plot of prime Richmond land as long as it would 'faithfully guard' the Robert E. Lee statue erected there.
A damaged Confederate statue lies on a pallet in a warehouse in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, after protesters yanked it off its pedestal in front of a government building. AP Photo/Allen Breed

A Confederate statue graveyard could help bury the Old South

Where do old Confederate statues go when they die? The former Soviet bloc countries could teach the US something about dealing with monuments from a painful past.
Protesters toppled the ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate statue on Aug. 20 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Gerry Broome/AP

Tearing down Confederate statues leaves structural racism intact

Toppling statues devoted to Confederate soldiers may be a joyous moment for protesters who fight white supremacy, but after the statues fall, structural racism remains, a scholar on slavery argues.
‘Early Days.’ Detail of Frank Happersberger’s pioneer monument, San Francisco, California, 1894. Photo by Lisa Allen. Cynthia Prescott

Think Confederate monuments are racist? Consider pioneer monuments

Many cities are removing their Confederate statues. But pioneer monuments represent a racist past, too. There are at least 200 of them, and their future is now being debated.
Gov.-elect Ralph Northam won handily in Virginia with a campaign focused on abortion rights, racial justice and support for immigration. He has black voters and northern Virginia’s diverse suburbs to thank for the victory. Cliff Owen/Reuters

Democrats’ sweep of Virginia shows the state is moving beyond its Confederate past

In Virginia, suburbanites, city-dwellers and black voters together rebuffed racism as an electoral strategy and handed Dems a huge win. Is this diverse coalition the future of Old Dominion politics?

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