Archives Department Acknowledges Role In Distorting Alabama’s Racial HistoryHistorians in the News
tags: racism, Alabama, Confederacy, archives
The Alabama Department of Archives & History said in a statement today that for much of the 20th century it promoted a view of history that favored the Confederacy and failed to document the lives and contributions of Black Alabamians.
Archives & History Director Steve Murray said he drafted the “Statement of Recommitment” that was approved by the agency’s Board of Trustees. Read the statement.
“The State of Alabama founded the department in 1901 to address a lack of proper management of government records, but also to serve a white southern concern for the preservation of Confederate history and the promotion of Lost Cause ideals,” the statement says. “For well over a half-century, the agency committed extensive resources to the acquisition of Confederate records and artifacts while declining to acquire and preserve materials documenting the lives and contributions of African Americans in Alabama.”
While acknowledging its former role in presenting a distorted view of Alabama’s past, the agency pledged to continue efforts of the previous four decades to tell inclusive accounts of history.
The statement comes as demands for racial justice and police reform sound across Alabama and the nation, a movement sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota on Memorial Day.
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