tv Cultural Heritage and Confederate Monuments CSPAN September 2, 2017 6:55am-8:00am EDT
c-span 3. working with our capable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. and now university of georgia professor scott nesbit teaches a class on historic preservation and the debate over several cultural heritage sites. such as the tearing down of confederate monuments. his class is about an hour. so this is as you guys know the university of georgia at the brand new digital humanities lab.
i'm scott nesbit and this class is intro to historic preservation. so we're here today trying to think a little bit about the cultural heritage of the american south especially after and during the american civil war. you know, it's been in the news quite a bit lately, and so i think it's a topic that folks are interested in historic preservation like yourselves have got to figure out. and we have a really fun opportunity, i would say, to try to make sense of all of this. so in order to do that i think we should go and think a little bit about not just where these monuments came from but the war out of which they came.
at the beginning of the american civil war, united states soldiers seemed to take a great deal of care to leave private property, really all kinds of property alone. they really very strictly held to attacking military targets only. and this seemed to be of great importance to political leaders because they thought that the war would be short, and they needed a really quick integration of the american south back into the nation. emancipation would end, so they didn't want to tick off the people they were fighting against. so they were very scrupulous. now, to some degree, and you can tell looking at the ruins here,. slowly a greater number of targets became possible for united states soldiers. so what you see here is the
virginia military institute in 1864. you know, cadets from this institute went to the battle of new market and opposed general davis hunter's soldiers there. hunter did not appreciate having to shoot at boys, you know, kids who were barely out of puberty. and so when he eventually took the city of lexington in virginia, he made sure he burned the institute down perhaps as a warning to the confederates that that kind of -- that using children in the war was not something that they would -- but also this is now a legitimate military target, if it's training cadets to fight against
union soldiers, it's all of a sudden part of the war. these two gentleman one more famous than the other became the faces of destruction for the united states army. you guys know this fellow. william sherman. and this guy, this is philip sheridan. so at the same time that sherman was marching through georgia quite famously, sheridan was marching up the valley, right? so this was -- he was doing this just after hunter had gone up the valley. and sheridan made sure to burn a great deal of land. he left it rather barren. but, you know, still used, guys, they didn't destroy everything in a way.
this was not indiscriminate destruction of property. there was not indiscriminate -- there wasn't murder on some kind of mass scale. i have little doubt civilians were harmed in this process. both black and white civilians were attacked. but there was no policy, no conscious policy for doing anything like that. and there was certainly no policy of destroying public buildings, public monuments, the kind of heritage of the antebellum south. well, maybe there was an exception. so when sherman -- so you know let's say september of 1864 sermon takes atlanta, which is an amazing prize for the united states army. it essentially seals the election for lincoln. he then marches his troops after
waiting in atlanta for a little while, marches his troops down to savannah. takes savannah just before christmas. offer it as a gift to his commander in chief who had been re-elected to the presidency. and then from there he starts marching up to south carolina and then eventually to north carolina. well, when he gets to columbia, well, the city burns. like a lot of the city burns. it's not really clear who set the fire. a lot of finger pointing during the event and afterward. but what is clear is not much was left of the south carolina's capitol. historians think today base clewhatever happened with that, it is clear sherman's troops did not really like the landscape or the people they encountered in south carolina.
they blamed the state for starting the war. now, all that said, what we have is a pattern of a great deal of violence especially against military and economic targets late in the war. and we have a pattern of relative restraint against cultural heritage -- the cultural heritage of the south. so what do i mean by restraint? well, hunter and sheridan i told you marched and burnt their way through the valley, right, as they headed southward. but once they moved out of that valley, they got charlottesville. had first thing that federal troops did is they rushed to the
rotunda to thomas jefferson it was landmark building. and they stationed guard there to protect it, to make sure no vandalism would come about. when they got to richmond in the first days of april of 1865 federal troops found the city of -- petersburg had been lost to them. so the confederates headed out of town. put the gold on the train, robert e. lee got on the train and all the top confederates left the sity. and as they were leaving, they set as many important documents and artifacts on fire as they could. the fires started here along the
river. and the fire started tuo move u. all this black area is area that was eventually learned. the united states went in trying to put out the blaze. they did not want the capitol burnt, the capitol thomas jefferson had help construct. they did not want the federal capitol destroyed. these exceptions follow hard upon orders that have been given. in the spring of 1864 lincoln had issued general orders 100. this is known commonly today as levers code. it was compiled by a german immigrant to the united states,
francis lebber. he left the south with secession. well, lebbers considered a lot of different things about the laws of war. among these things is prohibitions against purposely destroying any kind of art, classical buildings. i think the words are possible works of art, library, scientific collection or precious instruments must be secured against all avoidable injury. that's article 35 of lebbers code. so what you have in immediate war years is destruction of military property, destruction of kme of the south and the
physical infrastructure of the economy of the south at the same time you have the south's legal cultural heritage. i wish i could say this restraint was carried on by everyone into the post-war years. actually the first really widespread assaults on cultural heritage in the south you find by 1866. african-americans in the south are beginning to celebrate their emancipation. this is the one year anniversary of the fall of the confederacy. and as african-americans move into the public spirit and begin to celebrate, they find that the buildings they had built either
immediately upon emancipation or even previously in the pre'war years, many of these buildings went up in flames. so this is in petersburg in 1866. the former confederates also attacked the chuch in peters bug and one other one. i don't believe those were destroyed in the same degree. and you also have churches throughout the south that are attacked. when dprsz goes to interview people in the south about what has been happening there, they find reports of hundreds of churches and schools burned to the ground. this is really the first major attacks against tultural heritage that we see in the
post-war era. african-americans for their part, do a number of things in response. in the rural south, it's not just -- it's just black churches and black schools that are lit aflame. there are a number -- there's a rash of mysterious barn burns in the south. so on large plantations you would have barns, huge structures that were really the symbols of agricultural capttism in 1865 and 1866. so what you see is a number of these things mysteriously go up in smoke, that these symbols of economy and these kind of practical instruments of
agsetigating the economic wealth of the south were peag destroyed. this was in response obviously to a wave of terror that has been going on from the first day of emancipation an to the reconstruction area. african-americans also began to repurpose buildings. and this is a deconstruction. i worked with folks at the university of richmond at their digital scholarship lab. we built a 3-d model of the city of richmond. this right here is a structure commonly known as lump kn jail.
lumpkin put a number of enslaved people on a train. he took off with them. he tried to get out of richmond along with the confederates and eventually met his end. but what happened in 1865 was his wife took his slave jail and turned it into a school. so this became the first place for the education of african-americans in richmond. there's a saying the televisions half acre becomes god's half acre. the school eventually becomes virginia state university. now, in this repurposing of public space and in the spaces of the slave trade, african-americans are also trying to walk a really fine
line between joy and -- between rejoicing in the ways they perceive god to have blessed them, celebrating emancipation without taking off too much. the colored people of richened would most respectfully like to tell the public they do not intend to celebrate the -- despite the fact they're going to be performing a parade the day richmond fell into union hands. they say what we're celebrating really is emancipation. it's not anything more than that. it's not anything about former confederacy losing. it's about african-americans
gaining their freedom. white southerns did not buy that. yet the parade still went on. african-americans actually began a tradition in many cities of proceeding around the city in celebration. this is a picture from richmond. this is the emancipation day celebration in 1905. really a part of this tradition that began in the very first year after the war. so african-americans in other words were attempting to do public displays to show that they were now free, that they had access to public spaces.
they were transforming the spaces of slavery into spaces for a new kind of cultural heritage or a cultural heritage of freedom. at the same time they were working toward that, white southerners were trying to figure out what kind of monuments to their dead they would be introducing. how do you memorialize the dead when so many young men up to nearly one out of five of fighting age took casualties? so this massive out pouring, this massive blood letting produced a great deal of grief.
and the consolidation of grief went to these groups of mainly elite women that banded together and tried to think about ways to honor those who had died, the confederates who had died. now, they did this in a particular context. they did this in a context in which much of the south -- well, many places in the south at various times were occupied by union troops. the united states was very concerned that the south would try to secede again, that the south would try to impose slavery. and in fact if left to their own devices, that's probably what would have happened without the military presence in many of those southern towns and cities. so in a context like that, and
in a context in which women are, you know, really are full of grief, what kind of monuments do you get in a situation like this? you get things like the pyramid at hollywood cemetery. this is a cemetery in richmond, virginia that is a monument to the 13th confederate men who were buried in that cemetery. it's kind of abstract. but if the money was raised, then the people at the front were the women. it was the women of the south that created this monument. it was athenian woman who planned and organized declaration day. you all have seen this article
before, right? this is what was published on the southern banner. declaration day was celebrated at different times in different places in the south. but it was essentially confederate memorial day. here in athens all the poim and all the students and fack alty and firefighters and teachers of the high school and students of the high school, the male academy and female academy and everybody else all gathered at the university george chapel to march around the city. and the ceremony ended at the cemetery laying flowers on the graves. this 1871 celebration, though, is different because it marks the cornerstone for as you guys know, for this monument.
the monument now sits just across from the arch at the university of georgia that separates the north campus to the university of georgia, the historic part of campus from downtown just on the other side of the street. if you're going to say the most traveled intersection around town, definitely the busiest pedestrian intersection. the money was raised by the women's memorial association of athens. you can see that these very different monuments -- very
early, both created by women. both in this very kind of abstract style. what are other commonalities do you see between these? >> they said it was important to opponent out towards the heavens where they soldiers were. >> good. so they're very much vertical in that. anything else? who are they erected to? >> confederate soldiers. >> i mean these are very much monuments to the dead and specific dead people. in the athens case the names are inscribed on the base of the
monument. in the case of the pyramid, you don't have the 13,000 names written on the period, i believe. but it's in the cemetery. and the athens cemetery, we really diverted from many of the monuments eructed at this time because it's in a public space. and those monuments erected by the ladies monument association were in cemeteries themselves. any ideas why they would have not been in public? i mean what's going on here? why are they leading this? why are the monuments kind of being erected in cemeteries? >> there were a lot of charges of treason. so if men were to take on this role of memorialation, then a
lot of them would have been -- and then the cemeteries would consider safe spaces for remembrance of the dead midmore a political statement. >> yeah, i think that's really good as far as i can tell. right, anything from the leadership of women to the placement of the monuments to even the fact that they don't directly honor generals like robert e. lee, jackson, stonewall. you can see the idea why southerners are constantly being suspected of treason. they may be even being charged for treason.
it may be politically difficult to set up a statue to say jefferson davis in the middle of a town square, the most treasonness fellow of all. of course this all changes, right, after reconstruction ends which happens in different times in different places. where federal troops are withdrawn, where you have the democratic take over of the state governments often through fraud, often through violence. this ends state violence. yeah, there's still some troops left in the south after this weird ends. the traditional date is 1877. maybe that's a good date, maybe
not. but what's certain is that by the end of 1880s. you have a dramatic upsurge, it's a tremendous surge in veterans organizes, in the members in these organizations and in the statues that they create. confederate veterans, organizations founded in 1899. by 1896 there were local camps by organizations all over the south. by 1899 there were 1,200 of these. the sons of confederate veterans was founded in the mid-1890s as was the daughters of the
confederacy. now around 1890 perhaps the biggest and most prestigious monument or perhaps maybe the most famous one was unveiled. so this is the robert e. lee statue in richmond. it was then at the far west edges of town, enough open space to hold the 100,000 or so people who flocked to unveiling. it was a big deal to wray tithd the tarp. and everyone would cheer and shout for the fallen general. this was actually part of a real estate scheme. the developers were interested in employing new technologies, the streetcar and things like
that and pushing suburbinization out to the suburbs. and this was kind of the far end of developed land. so this was a would become a really remarkable prom nod into the city. and have already expensive lots. this is right part of why the robert e. lee statue is created and unvailed there. the whole time you have this turn to nostalgia starting in the 1890s. the war has been over for a while. it's driven by politics, driven by people trying to make money off other peoples memories. and it's also driven by a sincere desire to stick it to the north. and to create a space that white southerners thought would reflect their dominance of the southern landscape.
it was an attempt to create a distinct regional and proconfederate identity in the post war world. so we need to think about the monuments, especially the ones that are created after reconstruction in the 1890s. what else is happening on the southern landscape in the 1890s? this is when you have segregation coming into fru rigs. these are gentlemen in county. standing in front of a segregated train station. so it's a multi-pronged attempt to create a south in which the landscape could be read as one that white men controlled. from these spaces to -- i'm not
going show actual pictures of lynching. but these are more of what we might consider monumented to the while control of the south. when you have men hanged by the side of the road. billy hol day's song strange fruit immortalizes this. these people are being lifted up at the same time the monuments are being lifted up. the hay day of lynching. 1880s, 1890s this is when you get the large scale public lynchings. those continue into the 1920s and 30s. and some even later than that, right? there's web site without sanctuary that has amast and digitized hundreds of postcards that were created.
that would memorialize lynchings. that would so that one could show one's family and friends and neighbors what a good time one had at the local execution. this image, though, is from actually from the first period of terrorism. of post civil war terrorism. this is from -- this is like a drawing that was published in the tus ka loo sa newspaper in 1868. trying to scare off an ohio carpet bagger. and another gentleman. warning them away from the american south. and so if the south has been --
if this is the landscape we have inherited, and if these confederate monuments especially the ones created deep into the 19th century can and i would argue should be read as part of this jim crow landscape, what really should be the response? today. you guys are preservationists. a preservation ethic needs to be a really reflect i have one and thoughtful one. so this is the question that we need to think about. what do we need to do with the monuments. well, maybe they should be destroyed. this is what happens to the often in regime change. this is what happened to the square monument.
to saddam hussein. in 2003. this was from what we can tell, this was staged by the united states military. to look like it was going to be a popular kind of spontaneous destruction of the cultural heritage of the hue sane regime. in fact, basically this was as far as i can tell, all orchestrated by the united states military as a photo op and a symbolic end to the battle of the baghdad. a little bit more recently, this what you see here is the monastery. in iraq. this is a sixth century monastery.
that was in continuous use until the 18th century. 1743 or so. until the monks were pushed out. it was damaged in the 2003 iraq war. but remained looking like this. this picture i believe is from 2005. it doesn't exist anymore, though. this monastery was detroyed by isis in 2014. probably 2014. i don't know exactly the date. this and a great number of other great culture heritage artifacts. not just christian. christian, islamic, all kinds of heritage is being destroyed. and really rapidly. by areas in control of the
islamic state. a more familiar example of the destruction of buildings the symbolic destruction of buildings. is the housing public housing complex that we have talked about already. this kind of modernist structure is towering the park was deemed a failure. really pretty quickly after it was erected. and so there's a televised and really highly publicized demolition of the building. pictures, it was taped on live television. there were peck pictures sent out published across the country, showing the failure of the 1960s urban renewal and the
kind of solutions for -- for the housing problem of the post world war ii era had created. you guys recognize this, right? okay so there are proposals to demolish -- not stone mountain. that would take a lot of time. but to erase these gentlemen, i don't know. from the face of the mountain. these proposals, well i'll let you guys decide what you think about the proposal. to basically wipe the face of stone mountain. take these confederate generals off, generals and jefferson davis. off of the mountain.
there are other options, right? for confederate monuments. maybe they're removing, moving the monument from the face of stone mountain might be dilt. i think eraser is a lot easier. with smaller monuments maybe you can move them. we might think of the jefferson davis statue at the university of texas, austin. in august of this year, the president of the university of texas received a report from a faculty committee that he commissioned to look into what should be done with the -- not just this statue but a number of monuments to confederate generals and so called heros. on the university of texas, austin campus. the writing here says davis must
fall. so really what you have in august is you have the president saying we're going to get rid of it. and so very quickly they took -- they wrapped the statue up in like sul feign and stuff. they just took the monument down. it wasn't the kind of thing that massive numbers of people attended. it took a while to get it off the pedestal. it's going to be placed in a museum on campus. so this and the other statues are removed from public display removed from their space of prominence and placed, i don't know. moth ball. or placed in a context that shows them as artifacts of
curiousty, maybe. artifacts of history maybe. but not public symbols interpreted as deserving reverence. one other option would be to begin to recon texture alize these monuments. adding explanatory plaques, things like that. or maybe building more monuments, right? figuring out ways to celebrate other figures. in the american south. alongside the monuments of the confederate dead. this is although there's not been any kind of policy that anybody has talked about in richmond, virginia. that's really what you're starting to get. so in the 1990s, i already
mentioned monument avenue. this avenue when confederate generals are posted. robert e. lee the key figure. but they started building up more and more. there's like five different confederate generals up there now. i think jeff stewart is on monument avenue. i think we have stone wall jackson. we have other guys as well. then the one at the end of the statue at the end of monument avenue is arthur ash. the wimbledon champion. you grew up in richmond and segregated richmond, he died of hiv and aids. in the late 1980s i believe. arture ash was a local african-american hero.
and they decided to, that it would be too difficult or not the right thing to take the confederate monuments down. there was no political will for that. there was political will for erecting this arthur ash statue on monument avenue. there were protests. the sons of confederate veterans did not like the fact that a famous african-american was going to be celebrated alongside confederate veterans. i don't know. i would call this monument inexpertly done. it's not my favorite monument in the world. probably a better one is down here off of monument avenue. in near the river near the james river. actually in the area that was
burned during the fires at richmond at iron works. this is a an iron works for the confederacy. this is the place where the confederacy made so many iron mints. a statue to lincoln was placed. at this public site that's now owned and operated by the national parks service. what does this monument say to you guys? >> not really grand. >> what do you mean. >> it's on top of a pedestal looking out over everybody. >> okay so it's very different than the lee statue. right? that we have talked about already. and even different than the arthur ash statute.
which arthur ash is he's holding a tennis racket and books. with a bunch of kids looking up to hem. trying to get i don't know taking his racket away. i'm not sure exactly. lincoln is sitting. who's he sitting with? do you guys know? this is his son, tad. okay, so it's not this is not very much like the lee statue. what else do you notice? >> the inscription to binds up the nations winds. i guess the paralleling lincoln's emancipation of slaves and the tieing up the ends of the civil war with trying to recon texize this and put into perspective.
there was a big movement of plaques and other statues and monuments like that to try to tell the other side of the story. i feel like that kind of reflects in the inscription of trying to heal from the one sidedness of the story that is told through monuments. >> okay. yeah, good. i'll pick on you because you're in my reconstruction class. and so what image of lincoln do we see here? >> it's humble. i guess it's sort of caring, loving. i guess what she mentioned, sort of conciliatory. bringing everybody together. >> absolutely. this is the image of lincoln that healer.
lincoln the magnanimous. merciful in victory. no conquering hero. this was a lincoln who if given the chance what he really wanted to do when he got@confederate capitol was just sit quietly on a park bench with his son. right? in fact the park bench on which you can sit. so i have sat on that park bench. my kids have sat on that park bench before. it's lincoln the approachable. the chartable. >> with a lot of the other monuments it seems like that try to have this grandiose like stature to them. where it removes them from the environment that they're around and tries to draw attention to it. this one while it may try to draw attention, it does include this surrounding environment with it. it doesn't remove itself from it. and so it plays with the whole
inclusiveness of binding information. that everybody should be be welcomed to this area. it should be something you have to look up to. >> right. >> to enjoy it. >> absolutely. this is lincoln as his most approachable self-. right. lincoln -- he did visit the city of richmond right after it fell. and he was let off at rockets landing which is where most boats let you off on the river. the city is charred. much of the city is charred at this point. he enters the city and he doesn't go sit on a park bench with his son. that's not the first thing he does. he walks into the city. the city has no white people, essentially in it. all of the confederates have left. they know what's coming. the union troops have secured the city. it's a city of the enslaved and
formerly enslaved. and they press around lincoln. as he walks into the city. he can barely get through the crowds. huge spontaneous parade greets him. and he makes a beeline to jefferson davis's office. and he walks into jefferson davis' office. and sits down at his desk and puts his feet up. okay. that's the lincoln who ended the civil war. he entered as a conquering hero. right? he ended the war as the commander in chief. who was there to take possession of the city of richmond. and this is how he's memorialized. because really that's not a an idea of lincoln that would endear richmonders. even 150 years later. so this is an at the same time i
would argue in richmond to recon texture alize. to soften the edges of the confederacy by creating not threatening images both of the union victory and civil war. and of african-american heros. holding books and a tennis racket. right. >> so we can talk about what you guys think should be done with our confederate heritage. here in athens. destroy, move. >> so what do you guys think? you have all thought about it. because you had to write a paper about it. so so what did you argue for in
this confederate statue that we have here? that faces the arch? >> i think it should stay. it is a piece of history. you don't forget history. >> okay. so what you're saying is that, right, so from a preservation perspective to destroy the monument is not really acceptable in your eyes? right? this is a record of the past that we need it hold onto. even if we disagree with what it stood for? >> it might be a terrible time in history. it is still happened and still happened here. >> okay. good. so we can preserve it. do we need to -- so why not move it, though? >> it's been moved about three or four times. >> okay. so actually that's really important. that you important point that you bring up. right now it's on the really
heavily trafficked pedestrian intersection. it wasn't always there. >> it was always moved today a heavily trafficked pedestrian area. >> okay, right. it was not in a marginal space and came into the center. it's always been in the center of town. in a relatively visible space. >> move it one more time. just break it. >> actually, so there are concerns about its stability and longevity. it was falling apart not too long ago. so many your careers here as students it's been kind of disassembled in order to be repaired. good. >> i would argue for a move of it. because in its past moves it has been moved to actually be disassociated with certain aspects of the city of athens. and it's current place it's put as more of just a display of
like heritage. rather than in itself previous position near the city hall. of when it was like market street and college avenue. sitting in the corner of city hall. it was moved from there, this is just a theory, to disassociate it from like a government aspect. that it wasn't something that was put up by a collective, like, all the people of athens to attach to that heritage and the association there the first place. i would argue to further move it from where it is now. because it's still takes on this like aspect of like a collective. ta this is something that we all share, like, but it wasn't put there with the intention in the first place. it was something that was put just to represent a very small faction of people.
that doesn't make up all of athens. it's just the soldiers and was put up by the elite women of the town. >> interesting. >> so i would argue to place it in perhaps oak hill or something like that. better serve the purpose of it that it has of memorializing the dead soldiers. rather than, you know, the add vertly political statement it makes in existing in the center of the public eye. >> okay. so there's a lot there. to unpack. and a lot that i really agree with. let's think about -- i heard a couple different things i want to piece out. the first is the idea that in its setting now it's not really -- it doesn't really have the full political impact of -- it's not really in support of confederacy as much as some other monuments are. is that what i heard you say?
what about the current setting makes you say that. >> it's more of just you're out there for either -- if you're going to go look at it, it's something you have to stop and look at. it's in the middle of the street. most people walk passed it. and don't think much of it. so it is somewhat removed from the context of having it right in front of the courthouse. or something like that. >> my concern is it's in front of the entrance to the university of georgia. and i read in richmond, virginia when they erected that giant statue of the robert e. lee that that was kind of like you said, and several monuments that mark off the white portions of town or places where only white people should be or their haven or whatever. to me and it maybe kmecompletel unspoken. but to me it is an unspoken
almost barrier to entry of people of color for the university being there and being in the most highly trafficked pedestrian and arguably intersection in the town. >> okay. so this is the symbolic entrance to the university. the main symbol that the university has. is the arch. is this rod iron arch that faces directly into the intersection in which the monument sits. so that's a really important point. who actually knew that that monument was a monument to the confederacy. before this class? >> two of you. three of you? before this semester. there are two things going on here. one is that it's in the highly visible place. but your point is that it's not doing the kind of culture work that maybe people thought it would. in that space. it's not doing the work perhaps
it's not doing the work of white supremacy. people don't even know what, nobody notices it. right. that could be the case. but at the same time it is in this prominent place that is symbolically right at the gate to the university of georgia. and maybe closes that gate for some. this is really helpful. >> i was going say it's interesting to note that although it was moved from city hall, it didn't, that move didn't depoliticize the connection of the civil war to city hall. like sanitize the landscape. they have the double barrel cannon that is just also a big civil war, like artifact from it. just as equally one can argue the monument on broad street is an artifact of it. so also the moving it to the cemetery i think changes an
important part of the monument and studying it as an artifact. and like in its context in history. because they purposefully didn't put it in a cemetery. moving it to a location could be a correct way to preserve it. but maybe not the cemetery location because that changes the statement that they made that was very different at the time. than even other ones going up at the same time. they all shared the goal of perpetuating like lost cause south. but in athens specifically in the early monuments not putting it in a cemetery was important to its identity i think. >> so are you saying that it because of that it should or should not be removed to a cemetery? >> should not. staying -- i get the disaffiliation from government entities be it city hall or university of georgia. because it can be read as an offensive thing. although i think a lot of the
articles made interesting points that don't retain that meaning. if the community doesn't share that means anymore. like since we don't hold the same values as the people who constructed it the monument isn't as powerful in that regard. rather just something to study as like a way to see into the truth and ideology of the time. but study it within its context. >> okay. okay so you would okay with moving it. but keep it in public. okay, interesting. what other proposals do we have? >> i thought the athens monument is unique. like you i think moving it to a cemetery wouldn't do it justice. because the way that early monuments were made were in cemeteries. and this isn't a monument. but made a statement of putting it in a public place. i think losing that context would like make the monument lose part of history. so i proposed recon
techtureizing it. and for people that believe recon texture alizing it isn't enough to erect other monuments around athens in public places as well that highlight african-american history and struggle in athens and not just the elite women and soldiers when created the monument. >> yeah. okay that's interesting. so let the let a thousand monuments flourish. >> not a thousand. >> a few. right. what is the context? are there monuments to people of color? in athens? >> i don't know. >> there are historical markers all around. >> right, okay, good. but maybe not monuments. how about in the university of georgia. here on north campus. is the there much?
>> there's a hunter holmes. >> there's a hunter holmes building. which the naming of it and the marker that's next to it commemorate the desegregation of the university of georgia. is that about it for north campus. >> yeah. >> maybe so. >> it's not that impressive either. >> it's not. and the history is -- it's not. it's not like university of georgia was kind of happily desegregated. it's not like white students ak . this was a struggle. frankly it's a struggle that you have articles in the red and black that talk about the atonnishing low rates of african-american admission. or presence at the university. in a state that has a really
sizable african-american population. the university does not. >> going back to what you said about the monument not necessarily still carrying the same message or whatnot, that is did before. when you just said that there are low rates of african-americans here. and i started thinking about downtown and general the bar. that was turning away black patrons. based on race or their what they were wearing because of the dress code. to me i associate that monument with the people like that. and to me it still carries. >> right. good. so what we were talking about maybe that because we we're not confederates. maybe the monument is reinterpreted. maybe there's no continuity than we hope for. between the jim crow era and today's athens.
and today's university of georgia. yeah. that could be. >> the thing i have with recon texture alizing is so they had arthur ash. they had that at the end of the street of all the confederate memorials. here we have, say pink mor ton. of the theater. to me that's still divided. you can't combine the two structures. you have still have two sides. and symbolically to me that's almost just as bad as having just the confederate memorial. >> that's really good. even the placement of the memorials can inadd vertly. or purposefully emphasize the divisions. i didn't mention it. but the arthur ash monument is the last one right before the interstate cuts the road off.
and certainly in the lowest rent area. after you have the kind of grand early 20th century mansions. those are all gone by the time you get to the arthur ash monument. so abts luteally that's a fear. and that's a something to be concerned about. i think these issues are things that we're going to be continuing to deal with. i'm glad you have thought about it. if this ever becomes a public issue in athens and the university while you're still here. i hope you'll participate in the conversations. you have certainly given it some thought. so we'll meet i guess on thursday. be ready to talk more about the readings for this week. make sure you have seen monuments men. we'll be talking about culture heritage and its prekars nature. due to political changes and instability. i'll see you guys on thursday.