Quiz: Answer ONE of the following
• According to Judith Giesberg, how did representations of African
Americans in the South change in school textbooks from the late
1860s to the late 1870s-80s? What messages did these images
• People are often surprised to discover that the largest cache of
important Confederate documents are stored in the National Archives
in D.C., not in Richmond or elsewhere in the South. According to Yael
Sternhall, why did the federal government initially seek to collect
Confederate documents after the war, and how did its aim shift over
Charleston church massacre
• African Methodist Episcopal Church (Mother Emanuel)
• One of the most historically significant black churches in the nation
• Congregation dates back to 1816
• Denmark Vesey was a minister there
• Independent black churches banned in the 1830s, but members met in secret
• On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof killed Rev. Clementa C. Pinkney, a state
senator, along with 8 parishioners Roof was a committed white
supremacist who said he hoped to start a race war
• Drawn into internet hate groups after the Trayvon Martin shooting; became
obsessed with “black on white crime”
• June 17 was the day the Vesey insurrection was to start – coincidence?
• Had been visiting antebellum and Civil War historical sites before
• From Beaufort, SC
• Last name is that of a founding father
and early governor of SC (Charles
Pinkney). Family had a large plantation
in the low country, on the coast.
• Clementa Pinckney began preaching
at 13; was a minister by 18
• State senator by age 27
• Reflected the tradition of African-
Jefferson Davis Statue on grounds of UT
Austin removed August 2015
• Will become part of an educational exhibit in the University’s Dolph
Briscoe Center for American History (a museum)
• President Gregory Fenves: “While every historical figure leaves a mixed
legacy, I believe Jefferson Davis is in a separate category, and that it is not in
the university’s best interest to continue commemorating him on our main
• Other sculptures on the mall depicting Confederacy figures, including Robert
E. Lee and Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, will stay where they are
• Is Davis in a “separate category” from these others? How does one draw such
• Statue of President Woodrow Wilson has been taken in for restoration; will be
relocated to an as-yet-unnamed location
“Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the
• Report by the Southern Poverty and Law Center, released April 2016
• Concluded there are more than 1,500 government-backed tributes to
the Confederacy in public places, not counting the nearly 2,600
battlefield sites, museums, cemeteries)
• Vast majority in the South, but they can be found from California to
• 718 monuments and statues
• 109 public schools named for Robert E. Lee
• 80 counties and cities named for Confederates
• 9 official Confederate holidays in six states
• 10 U.S. military bases named for Confederates
Robert E. Lee Elementary School, San Diego
School named after Lee when it first opened in 1959
to honor him as an “American soldier and educator.”
August 2016: Renamed Pacific View Leadership
Rep. Lorena Gonzalez (Dem., 80th district): “The flag
in particular, and anyone associated with this army,
in general, have been associated with intolerance,
racism and hate, none of which have a place in our
schools. It is also important to note that the area in
which the elementary school is located is truly
representative of South San Diego—a vibrant,
multiethnic community with a strong African-
American presence that deserves a school named
after someone we can all admire. Robert E. Lee is
not that person.” Student population today around
75% Hispanic; only 2.5 percent Caucasian
Army bases named for Confederate Generals
• Camp Beauregard, La.
• Fort Benning, Ga.
• Fort Bragg, N.C.
• Fort Gordon, Ga.
• Fort A.P. Hill, Va.
• Fort Hood, Texas
• Fort Lee, Va.
• Fort Pickett, Va.
• Fort Polk, La.
• Fort Rucker, Ala.
SPLC President Richard Cohen on the findings:
“Public governmental displays of Confederate monuments and other
symbols undermine the promise of equality that’s the basis of our
democracy. The argument that these tributes represent Southern ‘heritage’
ignores the heritage of African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved by
the millions and later subjected to decades of oppression.”
“In many cases, preserving history was not the true goal of these displays.
Rather, many of them were part of an effort to glorify a cause that was
manifestly unjust – a cause that has been whitewashed by revisionist
propaganda that began almost as soon as the Civil War ended. Other displays
were intended as acts of defiance by white supremacists opposed to equality
for African Americans during the civil rights movement.”
• December 2015: City voted to remove four statues: Robert E. Lee (1884),
Jefferson Davis (1908), P.T.G. Beauregard (1915), and a tribute to the
Crescent City White League (1891)
• Ordinance that bans any public display that "honors, praises, or fosters ideologies
which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens" or
"suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other, or
gives honor or praise to any violent actions taken wrongfully against citizens of the
city to promote ethnic, religious, or racial supremacy of any group over another."
• Mayor Mitch Landrieu to members of the New Orleans City Council: "We
have the power and the right to correct these historical wrongs. The
monuments do not now nor did they ever reflect the history, strength,
richness, diversity and soul” of New Orleans.
• Can one correct historical wrongs?
• And did not these statues represent a key chapter in the history of N.O.?
• Is there a different kind of argument for their removal?
“Battle of Liberty Place”
In 1874, following a contested election in 1872,
the Crescent City White League (a KKK type
organization, with many former Confederate
vets as members) tried to seize control away
from the Republican-dominated state
government and restore white rule.
Event followed on the heals of the horrendous
Colfax Massacre of 1873—worst racial violence
in Reconstruction. White League attacked a
nearly all-black state militia; over 100 black
men killed, many after surrendering, including
Grant sent in troops and restored the
Republican government, but it fell two years
later when US troops were pulled out following
Added in the early 1970s in response to protests and demands
that the moment be removed: “Although the ‘Battle of Liberty
Place’ and this monument are important parts of New Orleans
history, the sentiments in favor of white supremacy expressed
thereon are contrary to the philosophy and beliefs of present-
day New Orleans.”
Battle of Liberty Place Monument, cont.
• 1981: Mayor tried to have it removed; blocked by
• 1989: Removed, allegedly for safekeeping, while
construction was occurring in the vicinity. Not
returned by originally stated date.
• 1993: movement led by David Duke, a former
Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, sued for its
return. City obliged, but moved the obelisk off
Canal Street to Iberville Street.
Right: New Orleans police officers restrain Rev. Avery
Alexander, longtime civil rights leader and state
representative, during a protest at the 1993
rededication ceremonies of the Liberty Monument.
Alexander led an effort to disrupt the ceremony.
• Where to draw the line?
• What about Andrew
• Committed Unionist;
squashed the SC
• But he was also not just
a slaveowner, but a
• And he engineered the
Trail of Tears, forcing
46K Native Americans
off their land
Gallup Polls on the Confederate Flag: 2000
• By 2000, Americans were almost equally divided on whether it’s acceptable
for Southern states to fly the flag
• 1992: 55% approved, while 40% disapproved.
• 2000: 46% approved, while 44% disapproved.
• But there was a sharp political divide on the issue
• Republicans and independents were much more likely to support flying the flag than
• Republicans: 55% approved; 32% disapproved
• Independents: 47% approved; 42% disapproved
• Democrats: 38% approved; 57% disapproved
• The political divide would widen further by 2015
• The percentage of Republicans who approved actually rose, while the percentage of
• Republicans: 67% approved; Democrats: 27%
Confederate flag and desegregation
• 1954: Brown v. Board of Education
• 1956: Georgia adopted a new flag with stars and bars
• According to a 2000 research report by Georgia Senate, the 1956 flag was
adopted in an era when the Georgia General Assembly “was entirely devoted
to passing legislation that would preserve segregation and white supremacy.”
Mississippi state flag
• Adopted in 1894
• During period when Jim Crow
laws were being enacted, and
when other states (Florida
and Alabama) also adopted
flags that incorporated
• Four years after Mississippi
adopted a new constitution
that included literacy tests
and poll taxes for voting
Corporate repudiation of the flag
• Walmart announced it will no longer sell Confederate flags or
merchandise with Confederate flags
• “We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have
taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our
assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site. We have a process in
place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise
we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly
— this is one of those instances.”
• Amazon, eBay and Sears all announced bans on the sale of
Confederate flag merchandise, amid an intensifying national debate
over the use of the controversial flag.
• Johnna Hoff, an eBay spokesperson, said that the Confederate flag has
"become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism." It is banning the
sale of Confederate flags and "many items containing this image," Hoff said
California, ahead of the curve…
• September 2014: African American CA Senator Isadore Hall III
introduced legislation that prohibited state offices or agencies from
selling or displaying replicas of the Confederate flag or any items with
its image, except those reproduced in a book for educational
• Introduced after his mother (who grew up in the South) was startled to find a
replica of Confederate money with an image on the flag in the gift shop.
2009 Obama laying wreath and Confederate
monument in Arlington on Memorial Day
• 1900: Congress authorized a special section for Confederate veterans
• Tradition that began with Woodrow Wilson, 1914
• 2009: Obama urged to stop the tradition by some historians,
including James McPherson
• “I don’t think it appropriate for a president to send a wreath honoring a group
that tried to break up the United States—especially a president who sees
himself in many ways as an heir to Abraham Lincoln.”
• Obama decided to continue the tradition, but he also began a new
one by honoring African American CW soldiers