Confederate Statues inquiry
What can our monuments teach us about history and ourselves?
(updated with the most recent, relevant links)
There’s a fitting recipe for classroom inquiry in recent current events about Confederate statues.
Here are a few essential questions to ask or assign:
What purpose do statues serve?
What star qualities make for the best statues?
Do we need statues? Who should decide which ones exist?
Are there people (or events) who should have a statue that don’t? Why?
(sidenote) If you take on the National History Day process in your classroom, researching the last question could especially help students choose topics!
Here’s a good article to get you thinking about statues more broadly:
The ongoing controversy over Confederate statues, which has seen these monuments removed from public spaces in more…www.atlasobscura.com
Here’s a good post to get you thinking about disgusting historical memorials that still exist:
Here’s a good article about why people want to remove Confederate statues:
As President Trump doubled down on his defense of Confederate statues and monuments this week, he overlooked an…www.npr.org
Here’s a good article about who cares:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A majority of Americans think Confederate monuments should be preserved in public spaces…www.reuters.com
Here are a few good articles about how many Confederate statues exist, when they were installed, and how many are coming down:
Last weekend's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, began as a protest against the city's plan to…fivethirtyeight.com
Update: It's worth reading Robert Moore's post on the SPLC report. I agree that a bottom-up approach to Confederate…cwmemory.com
See how this story connects to history.www.bunkhistory.org
Proposal to remove monument Confederate soldier monument toppled by protesters Protesters pulled down a statue of a…www.nytimes.com
Here’s an interesting primary source to utilize:
Yesterday I shared a brief passage from W.E.B. DuBois on Confederate monuments. Below is an short essay from DuBois on…cwmemory.com
Here’s a fitting, fake article about statues that might represent Americans better:
WASHINGTON-Affirming their unwavering support for the fast food mascot, Americans rallied around a Ronald McDonald…www.theonion.com
Here’s a good post to get you thinking about new statues we could design today:
Maybe we should put up monuments to curious, struggling, persistent, learners inside and outside our schools…
If I had to pick one quote to memorialize in hallways, it would be this:
Sifting and winnowing is a metaphor for the academic pursuit of truth affiliated with the University of Wisconsin…en.wikipedia.org
Additional questions to ask if time permits:
How are statues similar to our resumes or social media profiles?
Do we need to include writing about the largest mass execution in American history on the Lincoln Memorial? Or a note about the only government to ever deploy a nuclear weapon on a civilian population outside the Truman Library?
What does this quote from Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address mean in the current context?
“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Finally, here’s my favorite article from this current event, as it relates to so many important things that we care about:
In the aftermath of racist violence like what unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, one visceral…www.pri.org
In many current events cases, “Jumping straight to action is completely ineffective…”