Talking History: Confederate and African-American Monuments

I had the pleasure of attending the talking history lecture on Confederate and African-American monuments. It was very interesting gaining insights into the origins of these monuments, and that Confederate monuments were initially tied into the politics of resistance to Reconstruction, and later had associations with resistance to integration as well. As someone with a great interest in politics it was also fascinating to hear about the Readjuster Party, something with which I was not familiar. I am going to look more into that period of time in Virginia political history for sure.
It was also very interesting to hear about African-American monuments and their development over the past 150 years or so. The first statues definitely seemed to focus a lot on Lincoln in “liberating” enslaved people, but it was also notable that the contributions of African-American soldiers and sailors slowly became more recognized over time. The “faithful slave” monuments were ones I was not familiar with either, and it was a bit surprising at first to hear about that, but it made sense the more I thought it over in light of some of the paternalistic rhetoric surrounding slavery in the 19th Century and the subsequent romanticizing of that.
Overall I enjoyed the lecture a lot and I’m glad I went.

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