Jesse Jackson: It’s ok to leave Confederate monuments in place, but tell the full story

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tags: Jesse Jackson, Confederate Monuments



Jesse Jackson, during a visit to the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week, was asked about the vote by the Charlottesville City Council to remove a nearly century-old statue of Robert E. Lee from a city park.

“To keep on flashing these symbols and statues, they should be put in perspective, maybe a museum, or if they stay where they are, write up a true story of what they represent,” the civil rights leader said.

Jackson’s point of view possibly reflects the mainstream in Richmond, a city where the grip of Confederate glorification may be relaxing enough to allow room for a more balanced perspective.

On Saturday, historians at an American Civil War Museum symposium addressed the question of what should be done about the Confederate statues. Such a discussion would have once been unthinkable in a city where a burning question after the election of the first black majority on City Council 40 years ago was: What will become of Monument Avenue?

“I believe that what they described is as close to a consensus as historians would have (on the need) to explain what these statues are, how they came to be,” Edward Ayers, a historian and president emeritus of the University of Richmond, said Monday. “The fact that you could hear people from pretty different perspectives saying that’s an important next step is something we can build upon.”




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