A sign on scrubland marks one of America's largest slave uprisings. Is this how to remember black heroes?

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tags: slavery, Civil War, Black History, Confederacy, Confederate Monuments



The slaves met on a Sunday morning, close to the Stono river. Plantation owners tended to go to church on Sundays, and would leave them unattended.

A man named Jemmy had gathered them together. Described in reports as an “Angolan” who could read and write, Jemmy had talked the men through his plan the night before.

There were about 20 men in total. They marched to Hutchenson’s Store, 14 miles west of Charleston, South Carolina, and killed two white men. They then loaded up on pistols and gunpowder, and headed south.

Jemmy was leading them towards the then-Spanish territory of Florida, where he had heard slaves could live as free men….

In the 1700s, and on through the 1800s, Charleston was one of the most prominent hubs for the slave trade in North America. At one point 35-40% of slaves entered the US through the city, and it served as a base for trading slaves once they had arrived.

But walk around Charleston today and the most visible monuments and memorials are not to people like Jemmy and his Stono rebels. The major monuments are to the Confederate leaders who declared their secession from the United States and fought a war over their right to own slaves.

The same is true for cities and states across the country. There are more than 700 monuments to the Confederacy in the US, the majority in the south. Including park and school names, street and bridge names and public holidays, the Southern Poverty Law Center says there are more than 1,500 “symbols of the Confederacy” in public spaces across the country.




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