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tv   History Bookshelf Karen Cox No Common Ground  CSPAN  August 25, 2021 11:11pm-12:16am EDT

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>> hello and welcome back to a house divided this is coming to you from abraham lincoln bookshop in chicago and i have our guest with us right here doctor karen cox, the author of no common ground confederate monuments and the ongoing flight for racial justice, welcome to the show. >> it's great to be with you i wish it was in person that glad to be with abe lincoln bookshop again. >> we also wish you were here in person because it is so much fun to even have a conversation like this face-to-face is so much more fun to interact. we will have those again were coming to the end of this unpleasantness and we will have those days again, we're here to
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talk about karen's new book. before we do that i wish to send out the greetings and salutations to those of you who may be watching this conversation on c-span booktv we are recording this event on april 12, 2021 which is the day of the release of no common ground and those of you who are watching this on c-span book tv will be watching it some other time but we thank you for your attention and we hope you will enjoy this conversation if youil are watching it later, if you are watching it later we will still have copies first edition signed copies of no common ground available and you can order at abraham lincoln's bookshop website that is abraham lincoln
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if you are watching this live on the facebook feed were going to put a link to the order form in the comments. so you can go when there in order the book, we have special signed and dated bookplates that karen was kind enough to sign for us, thank you karen that are only available if you order it on the day of the release. we have other signed book places we will get you if you order later. but if you order today you'll get signed and dated which will create an effect of c limited addition of no common ground, signed and dated. folks at home feel free to get out there and order the book that's how we can afford to put the programs on for real and introduce you to the authors on house divided.
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a little bit on our guest today doctor karen alcock's is a professor of history at the university of north carolina charlotte she's also dreaming of dixie, dixie's author and she writes about, she writes in public about the controversy and she does a lot of media appearances infrequent. since on the media about that and has been thinking a lot about the controversy of confederate monuments. as it has recently come about in coming to culture. without me answering the question for you, tell the customers in the audience why no common ground why did you want to write about this now. >> that is a terrific question i
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did not want to write about this controversy to be honest initially mainly because i've been speaking about it since 2017 and onin the road a lot and finally thehe pressure coupling and i also noted the controversy wasn't going away in one of the things i found myself doing on a regular basis when i would talk to the media is try to explain .the history and the statutes i was hesitant but i knew i had a little conversation with myself and looked at myself in the mirror and said you know you're going to write this book. even though i had a hesitancy in writing about it because i knew certain periods of time in the monument that would take it up to the first world war i did not
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know that the first world war up to current events. in surrounding these monuments. i learned a lot while writing this book, i realized and there was so much more to the story of confederate monuments with the jim crow era story that we hear about and i really end up enjoying writing this it was a little stressful at times because i was on a time schedule but i did enjoy and i feel good about the book that i produced. >> good for those who are thinking about buying the book, let me chime in i think i can say this without having to ask you a question but there is a difference between a book that is a work of history in the book that is a work of activism that
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participates in an active way in a modern political controversy. for any of you thinking of no common ground you need to understand this is a work of history doctor cox is a professor of history and this is the mission of the book i tell you having read it to help you understand the context in which some of the modern conflicts and happening butare the book is not going to tell you what to do with your monument in your neighborhood that does not seem to be the goal of the book. i don't even know if you want to chime in but i want people to understand the reading of a history book not a book that contributes to a fight. >> it is a history book starts
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in 1865 and takes us up to last summer and last summer is still history, it's a very recent history but history nonetheless and i think it's really important for people to understand why things unfolding had been unfolding for the last five or six years since the charlson mass secure, why that's been unfolding in why people should understand why it seems like a recent phenomenon in a phenomenon that goes back to the 19th century when the first monuments were being built. it's a book that helps people who are reading this book tos understand history of these statutes and the way people felt about them over time and to provide context for recent
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events especially since the charlson mass secure of 2015. >> okay i think that's very important when somebody is thinking about picking up the book to know it is a history book. as you say last summer is history and it takes in a historian's perspective to understand in that context. you are a historian of the south and the books that you have read about the south, can you tell us what is your personal experience that is made you want to study the history of the south. >> that is a simple answer i grow up in the south, it was all around me was over i was a
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undergraduate history major what i wanted to write about in the state of north carolina i grew up in c greensboro my masters is about female academies involuntary daughter is in school, there were buildings that i can visit and see that i was very interested in my local history and since this time my interest in this has been because these were things that were happening in the locales wherever i lived i got interested in the united dollars, the confederacy in the late '80s covid-19 80s because i was working for museum of history and there was a confederate woman's home and my colleague had salvaged lumber from the home and made benches and he came to me one day and said would you research this
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home and tell me what it's about when i make these benches i like to give a little history behind it that sent me down the rabbita hole that became dixie's daughters everything is about the local and they often feel like what we learn locally tells us a lot about what's going on regionally and nationally. >> there is a saying that we all know all politics is local and it's been my experience as a student of history the all history books. >> i agree with that very much and this is the thing about the whole monument issue for people hato understand monuments are local objects they have their yown individual history and people really want to know about the local monument they can read a book like mine that provides a broader context but they could go to theo local library maybe
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the local newspaper and learn more about the monument in their community. >> let's jump into the book my own personal historical preference is for the older the history the better i hope i don't spend the entire time talking about 1865 through 1800 1900s but that's my favorite. first to dive into the story of the confederate monuments what are the most important aspects of this book is this revelation that theiv role the women played
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in memorializing the civil war in the south, can you tell us how women of the south became the curators of the memory of the confederate? >> with men coming home from war having suffered a terrible defeat women took up the work of memorializing the confederacy, they had been, women during the war had been members of soldiers aid society and soldiers aid society manifested as ladies memorial association after thes civil war and initially it was a period of greeting so the first monuments when into cemeteries and women were responsible for recovering bodies from
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battlefield like gettysburg and returning them back to the south where they could have a proper burial in the confederate cemetery. men especially in the early decades after the civil war it was the first decade and a half i can even imagine memorializing themselves in some way for their fallen comrades, women took this up as an extension of their role as wives and mothers and their communities. they also as years went on and continued in the memorialization process they develop leadership skills and fundraising skills and they developed public speaking skills, it became something that they could do outside of the home still have the protection of their role of the traditional gender role, they're not trying to bust the gender system, the south but at the same time that's exactly what they were doing in their roles as leaders of the movement.
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while the began at the memorial association it then extended by the 1890s to i the united daughters of the confederacy a new generation of white women in the south joined the memorial association in doing this. i keep thinking and i often said the udc wasn't an opportunity for women to have a career, they might not be able to go out into the workplace especially the women of the middle and upperdl classes they may not have done that but they can have a career in the udc and apply their education to be active in their communities and do all of these things that i mentionedth fundraising, they would even be lobbyist, political lobbyist and that's exactly what they were, fundraisers, and amazing fundraiser, it's a combination of the way in which the war changed women's lives and led
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them to become more public women but with the caveat that there in the south is geared toward confederate memorialization and on the surface is not challenging traditional gender roles. >> i'm going to share something before we go to the conversation i'm going to share things that we have at abraham lincoln bookshop and usually when i do this i'm trying to sell it to t you. some of the things were going to share t this program don't necessarily have a lot of value in terms of money although there extraordinarily valued historically i'm not pictured this to you but karen and i will give you one chance to talk about one particular udc person and that is miss rutherford, we don't need to go back to dixie
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daughter but the people interested in the confederate monument will want to know that there is a project going on and there's people behind the project one is rutherford and we see these pamphlets she's passing out that are teaching a privileged version of the civil war and when i say privileged immuno version of a confederate memory of the civil war and a lot of people are looking to the cause but even monuments have a real project behind them and that is to tell our story. >> exactly mildred rutherford was a one-woman pr machine for the udc she wrote all the scrapbooks about various aspects of confederate history and
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lesson plans that can be used in the public school she went on speaking in the style of the 1850s she was really living it up as a representative of the t old south in some ways in the old south of the confederacy and she felt it was important that history can provide a defense of the confederate cause so her work to supplement the work of those women who are really focusing primarily focused on the monuments themselves, they're all working togetherg tu monuments part of what the udc did in the history and education component all these things are working together to support what the udc is doing. their agenda is far-reaching and
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willll you moved with the histoy is something that gets told during the monument unveiling's. >> let's talk about one monument unveiling, there are thousands of the monuments but the first one there really gets some ink in your book is the dedication of the monument and aggression georgia what is that one of the early ones can you tell us as a representative examples tell us how they custom monument and how that they came after. >> i think what is really interesting about the agusta monument it is really one of the earliest that comes out after reconstruction.
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once federal have left the region and left georgia they begin b a lady from the association began organizing an effort to place a monument on main in augustine georgia. they began that in 1877 and i think by 1878, 1879 is when the unveiling takes place. what is interesting and becomes more ceremonial in the são paulo tory of his confederacy they move beyond bereavement another gonna be focused and on the celebration of the confederacy. that's what makes the monument a little different and what you see is some of the rituals of monument unveiling that are evident right away, one of which in all kind of ceremony relaying the cornerstone of the monument
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even before the fundraising have been completed and a couple of years later and will be unveiled. >> having parades on the military style parade everybody is encouraged to decorate their homes of confederate battle flags as well as the united states flag. there is speeches being given in children involved incorporate a small statue of robert easley that's what i saw as a rise of the fall of the bow very early on. steve: let me pull that up with something that has to stick analog bills brains don't say what you just say and are considered by the udc to express
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patriotism for the united states. >> agusta monuments is pre-udc but you're correct it's unveiling a sense that first of all we were honor the confederacy and confederate soldiers and military leaders but we will also say s they're making the argument that they weren't really traders of the nation they were very much patriots and defenders of the constitution especially in the tenth amendment and states rights that was argument all along. so they don't see there's a disconnect between having loyalty to the confederacy and loyalty to the united states. >> okay, this does bring us up to what has to be the most, you already talk about robert e. lee
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but probably the first confederate monument that a lot of people think of as the one featured on your jacket and that is robert e lee monument on the avenue in richmond if you bear with me for a second in order to make the point that these monuments don't just bring up after the crown people put them there and they mean something to people and the people that put them there tell us what their thinking if you bear with me i will take a minute to read a little bit of archer anderson speech about robert e. lee and what he's telling us that lee and the monument represent on may 29, 1890 in anderson says in a conclusion to a speech that most of the 90 minutes long like this monument teach two
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generations unborn these lessons of his life, let it stand not as a record of civil strife were pretextual protest of whatever is lowat and sorted in our publa and private objects. let us stand at the memorial to personal order and never brooked a stain without far-reaching military genius on soiled white ambition of heroic constancy for which no cloud of misfortune could ever hide the path of duty let it stand for proof and centura for people should never sink below the standards of their fatherhood. >> without -- the first time you're thinking about that but overall what is archer anderson telling us that we are supposed to think about that. >> he and many other speakers of
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the day in the unveiling speeches, firsthe of all they wt you to connect the history and they want the children to learn the history which is one of the first part of the quote that this is somehow in the memorial is there to teach lessons. and then this also is an element of what you said you read a long piece and all readers to my best here. i think one of the things about the lead monument in particular this one in richmond several monuments to robert e. lee but the one in richmond and monument avenue is really about reestablishing southern masculinity in a lot of ways. we represent that for them it's like his masculinity presented untarnished and that monument doesn't represent lee but it represents all southern men and
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confederate soldiers into basically hold her head high and not to be thinking about the sea but think about their own heroism. and i think this is the thing that many of these confederate soldiers or these veterans who spoke at the unveiling were trying to do they are trying to reclaim their masculinity and this is it in several decades were removed from defeat and this becomes a historical amnesia bound up in this monument that is asking people to move on but to think about in a way that is reflecting on that at the moment of heroism in a moment this was a cause in reclaiming masculinity in spite
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of defeat. >> and again, there determined even then to declare that they were right. >> there is never a confession of guilt in any way and there's always a lost cause and it was also a sacred cause and god was on their side and they even turn into that as well if god is on their side then there is no way this could have been wrong. >> the next thing i want to get on to as the second chapter of your book i do want to talk everybody his ticket about tttgetting this book it does at of great stuff if it only did one thing it was the one thing you do in chapter two which is demonstrate that there was never a time when everybody accepted
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the stories about the monuments. for the purpose of this conversation, can you take a few minutes to introduce us to a man named john mitchell and an editor of the newspaper in richmond and tell us why his opinions that he stated at the time. >> i wish i was reading from that and john mitchell was editor of the african-american newspaper called the richmond planet and he was very much a critic of what he saw was going on in the one hand he said we understand people want to memorialize their leaders but on the other hand they take it a bit tooit far. he was also concerned in raising
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a red flag that what he saw going on at the same time in the monument was being unveiled, he very much understood there was a move away from the progress that was brought by reconstruction the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment especiallyut the 15th amendment which was the right for african-american men to vote and he was really concerned and he was right there was a movement to disenfranchise white men and he saw it coming. and part of that is a response to the unveil any creditor the words to the 15th amendment and the paper and he also printed responses from other black newspaper editors around the region of what they saw
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happening there and they were horrified because they looked at that and what was happening in richmond and said these men were traders to the nation. they fought against the united states and took up arms against the u.s. so how is it that these men can be celebrated not only for taking up arms against the united states but also fighting a war that would've perpetuated slavery. they recognize what was happening in richmond in 1890. >> one of the things that you see happening in this book it helps us understand the monuments are not static, they don't just sit there and first of f all they were put up by
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people who walk away but also it is very tempting were in the middle of the controversy to think that they've always been there noise been accepted in this book tells us no. >> no, they were not there's never been a day where these monuments did not have somebody saying wait a minute i have an opinion about this to. >> exactly. >> by 1928 a lost cause memory had done a lot to infiltrate or dominate what people thought about the t civil war and the monuments were an important part and i will share briefly something that i think is a hoot
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but here is the number of men charles cook and tyler lyon and a number of very important white southern men in 1928en trying to tell the state of virginia that they must not, they must repeal a resolution of respect abraham lincoln who they call barbarian and ryan tyler is not a shouting red-faced ignorant kind of man he is one of the most important intellectual thinkers of the 20s in the south. it seems to me part of the creation of these monuments in that time so were talking about the teens, the 20s in the 30s, it is totally away for memorialize h and and it's a
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fight for victory for white supremacy in that time. i don't know if you feel the same way about title ix and he is not part of your book do you see that happening at that time? >> in many ways the confederate monuments that were placed on the southern landscape duringg the period, they were being placed on the grounds of local courthouses in state capitals. this is where justice is supposed to be served and laws are made and the laws that are being made are legalizing segregation there is lynchings take place on the lawns of courthouses across the south adjacent to the confederate monuments the confederate monuments are absolutely representative of a culture white supremacy across the
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south. while women are buying the movement to place them on the courthouse lawns, they are being supported and they are supporting the legal imaginations of white supremacy that are taking place. they are all together and it's really important that we point out that women white women of the south are just as violent and thinking about race as the men in their lives. they would not blink, they may not be there or they may be there as a lynching on the courthouse lawn but they certainly endorsed these things so the way i feel about confederate monuments the confederate monuments provide the cultural underpinning of the system of white supremacy that's
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being legalized across the south at the same time. >> do you see that as a change from the original purpose of monuments or is it more like an evolution to the next thing that they say. >> what's going on the beginning in the 1890s you have to think about the backdrop from these confederate monuments in the backdrop of the 1890s is an increase in racial violence and epidemic of lynching and this franchising of black male voters all of the tran1 decade and it continues on and into the 20th century. so you might need to repeat that last part. but this is the backdrop, it's
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hard to separate the monument from what is actually taken place in the same period. >> okay, that makes a lot of t sense these monuments, any monument or a conversation. >> there being used by udc members to teach children they don't just in there, i interviewed women in the late '80s that were in the children of the confederacy when the early udc was leading this movement and they would tell me not only all the portraits of their military leaders and heroes that were in the classroom but the fact that there udc leaders would take them down to the local
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confederate monument to embark some history around that. this is the thing about confederate moderates there never is static those are those sorts of things for the children are brought there to be taught lessons about the lost cause and the confederacy in states rights in the war wasn't about slavery out all and these were today, those things are happening monuments are ritualized every year, every confederate day there are more rituals and speeches that goes on for a few generations. what you will see in my book, by the time you get to the 1950s and you have a civil right movement the rhetoric of confederate memorial day speeches becomes about communism or is anti-communist and that is
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obviously a reaction to the civil rights movement. >> yes you are into dissipating where i want to go with this because those monuments are already out by the 1950s covid-19 55 when emmett till it is murdered in mississippi. if you can continue to explore this idea of how does the civil rights movement change the conversation about the monuments between those who are in power and white supremacist south and those who are having the power be upon them. >> i think what you see and what i've discovered during the civil rights movement there was a lot of civil rights leaders that
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they were upset about confederate in general and very often it's a battle flag because it's used by segregationist of the two intimidation those things are mobile and confederate monuments are stationary. but that complaint about confederate memory and the ways in which white children are still being taught, these ideas of the lost cause our being talked about by civil rights leaders and you see that picked up by the centennial 1961 - 65 which happens to be the most hated. of the civil rights movement when is most intense one of the things that i write about and what changes that is a civil rights act of 64 and the voting
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rights act of 1965 it has been black voters are going to elect people to office who are going to better represent them around the issue of confederate iconography and in one of these cases a talk about the meredith march in the way the margins march was about registering voters that was what he called the march against fear and a march from memphis to jackson mississippi and they would go into communities and the purpose register voters and they began to coalesce around confederate monuments and those statutes are in the town square where they were on the courthouse lawn which is also where people might need to register to vote at the courthouse.
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so it is a confrontation we confederate monument and it's a reclamation off the space look confederate monuments and on and dominated for so long once you see that happening and by the 1970s you willyo begin to see individuals who are civil rights veterans who are being elected to the local city council for the firstin time and they begino challenge what the representatives of government and they will challenge the monuments on theen courthouse lawn. >> this takes us to abj great topic one of the people that you talk about is harvey from charlottesville. >> and charlotte. >> charlottesville would be easy.
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>> the obvious reasons that she did in the city that you live in. >> harvey people who may not remember he was the black student to integrate the clinton university and he moved to charlotte in the 70s and elected to the city council in the mid-70s and in 197-7112 years after the civil war there was a local guy and a group that wanted to put a confederate monument on the grounds of city hall in charlotte and most of the time these things would've gone upng without question even thoughn the monument did end up on the ground of city hall harvey is one of the b earliest members of the city council in the years after the voting rights act calls us into
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question. and of history and what that meant to him he has grown up in charleston south carolina surrounded by theur confederacyn charleston south carolina. in the black public schools in charleston he grown up with a history that was more factual than a t lost cause and he thout it was very important that he speak up as a a representative f the black community and say these monuments, the confederacy had one our ancestors would've continued to be in play and he did not feel like the confederate monument on the grounds of city hall in 1977 was truly representative of a new south and charlotte claims the
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new south city and said this is not the way that you do it. >> he is one of the more interesting characters if you want to think in terms of not that you introduce indu this bok and part of the reason is he reminds any of us that these things are a noncontroversial or previously noncontroversial and they always were in it somebody to speak out against them if people were willing to ricin to that. >> i should mention the first black mayor of charlotte and he ran a very strong campaign against jesse and u.s. senate in 1990. and he's also scared from
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people. >> making for the purpose of our conversation making his voice and important voice. >> i'm looking at my next question and you kind of art he answered it the time of the civil war centennial has all sorts of controversy and problems involving that you don't necessarily dive into all of that except the confederate monument played a big role in some of the problems of the messaging of the civil war centennial but did you see more of a pushback from the people that want to put up more
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monuments and defend this privilege confederate access to common ground at the time of the centennial or after that or do things change? >> pushback against placing. >> first of all during the civil war centennial again the most intense. the civil rights movement their focus is yes they notice these things are there and they very much focused on getting the civil rights act passed in the voting rights act passed and so the civil war centennial in the south was basically a lost cause centennial in the way that it was commemorated and you saw the monuments quote the new monuments in the 1950s and
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another 20 in the 1960s and the dick's for military primarily the fog and the centennial to you and we talk about the phrase common ground but what were talking about courthouse squares that's a lot of what were talking about town squares, the town common with common ground and there's also
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monuments and other places that are common space and not all of them are common in the town square are these confederate monuments also being brought in to the controversy in the debate. >> what you might be referring to is those on the battlefield national parkside. some people those are controversy all but with the national park service you have people a historians there who cn contextualize the monuments that are there. every decade since the civil war there been new confederate monuments built. up until the last decade which
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is interesting all by itself these exists in other places they might exist in a local park like theal nathan bed for forest that existed in memphis at one point. thatat there was and so should e common ground with city park and even monument avenue in richmond before anything was removed was supposed to be a public space and meant to be shared space but is not really and visiting a friend last november in black folks never felt comfortable in the spaces she's african-american and said she
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didn't feel comfortable in these spaces. it's not common ground and is not shared and there will be people that say that is fine we don't need you anyway but not on a city that are -- say that they are talking about the models of example. for those sorts of things and they're not really looking at the ways in which their city might be marked by confederate memorials, confederate street names and alike. i think some cities like even the one in charlotte has been rocketing with that, what do we do with this confederate memorial landscape. >> i'm not going to ask you the answer to i that question, the
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book does i told people in the history books but we just have a few minutes left and iry do wane to take it in order for us to talk about the most recent history, that may be the reason why they pulled you back in to make you write this book. >> it is the reason.
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>> give us some perspective on how this conversation, controversy changed again maybe starting with the massacre in charlottesville. >> this is the thing what we see is a pattern since then there's always been racial violence around the monuments i don't want to ignore the longer history but the most recent history there has been terrible tragedy and racial violence in charleston and then a massacre and then you see dylann roof was a confederate flag laying across his shoulder. and it made people basically what is happened what had been a regional conversation inc. controversy became a national one with charleston. it was exacerbated by what happened in charlottesville and once again a terrible tragedy people were killed, there is violence in charlottesville and then last summer we had a policeman killed, george floyd which is currently on trial, but in the south, the reaction to what they sell in minneapolis
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was to turn on the confederate monument in the confederate monument represented them not just african-americans in systemic racism and white supremacy and police brutality. now are seeing the statues admired in the politics of divisiveness that exist and have existed in building for the last several years. it's becomee a national issue nt just a regional but a national issue. that is probably why we are having, why i wrote the book and why we are having his conversation. lastly i would sayay the ways in which the south has responded, white legislatures in the gop
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that dominate southern legislatures throughout the region in their response to all of this is to pass the monument law or something they call heritage h protective act which means a doubling down on preserving the statutes and what that does it creates a situation such that they've taken away local control in a community that might want to remove a monument cannot do it because oe the state law and rather than the monument, they are basically invited vandalism of them monument. because they can't get them moved in there out of frustration people will turn on them and vandalize them like they did last summer. >> if nothing else is demonstrate something that is certainly challenged my thinking
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is that these monuments are not permanent they come down all the time and is pretty easy to pull down and certainly a lot of communities can reckon with the fact that something that they felt was permanent and never going anywhere whether you're talking about the physical monument or the attitude ofs their voters it did change in a changed quickly and violently, i want to use that term carefully because there is physical violence against people but also down came the monument it was not permanent at all. >> they're not permitted they don't have to be permanent they aren't really reflective of the communities in the 21st century really the statutes are reflection of the jim crow era
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in the white supremacy in which they were built, there are people and while this is a divisive issue, my experience in speaking to community organization including churches i have it and some of my audience, there are people that are religious people who are thinking in their mind is the open understanding and learning the history in figuring this out for themselves, it is not my goal to tell them what to do my goal is to give them the information. people need to grapple with it. >> in a book that most definitely does not pretend to get prescriptions to what someone is supposed to do it does share we were looking at
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your jacket this is the last thing i want you to talk about as far as the topic is concern something really strange and unforeseen happened last summer on monument avenue and i certainly did not see what were looking out there being what would happen in a confederate monument controversy. i know in my mind is days or it goes. but it was not until i saw this happen and i'm so glad you chose this image, there are many ways that we can wrestle with these monuments and they are common ground and therefore they are a battlefield themselves as people can test what we are going to do with them when we think about them. >> i want to point out that
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while there was vandalism and spray painting et cetera in the image on the cover shows an example protest art to have people read think these monuments in the context of our own time but what also happened after a period of time what happened around the ground of the monument people were having barbecues and they reclaimed the space in a very positive way and often gets overlooked because it may be the spray painting and those race people can express the disagreement with these monuments besides just being in their communities. this is not just one example but a very powerful example ier thi. >> i agree that was a very
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powerful example. we can talk about everything caring and i know you wouldn't want to because there's so much more in this book then a few things that we talked about today but all history is local and this book no common ground will help us to understand how the history of confederate monuments is a ground-up history it comes from local communitiest and people and they always seem to make decisions about the common ground and what the going to do with the confederate monuments, no common ground provides you with excellent context and full context to understand the history of these monuments before weon get into someone else making a
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description of what were going to do with them. is there anything you want to tell us about in the book before you want to finish. >> i just got his publication day i'm very happy about that. i think there will be surprises in their people need to read it and it's an accessible read and someone tweeted their mother said i'm learning a lot from this book and that's the best review i get when you can hand it off to your parents or grandparents and they learn something from it. >> even though you have a lot of work to do to talk about this book let's say the book itself is in the past. what are you looking forward to doing now that you have wrestled with this particular topic. >> i had completed research were completely different book that i had to set aside in that book is
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hopefully i will get to some of it the summer and organizing the material about a tragedy that took place in mississippi in april 1940 known as the vertical fire and it's still one of the deadliest fires in history country the top five. what makes it unique all the victims are often american. in the story i want to tell gets into an understanding of jim crow. in the connections to chicago because there was a band from chicago playing that night and there were a lot of migrants who lived in chicago who were directly affected by the tragedy and there's memorialization s tt happened but it's on the
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landscape but through jazz and 'mblues songs. >> i was looking forward to reading i'm sitting in chicago so any book that tellss me a little bit more about the great migration was happening on both ends and it's very interesting to me and other people here. and you found another reason to write about mississippi. >> it's an little town that i fell in love with when i wrote go castle and it's a fascinating place and i like all of these connections, as i said it's a local story but has regional and national connections. >> thank you again, this has been doctor karen cox and her book is no common ground, confederate monuments in the
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ongoing fight for racial justice the book is available from abraham lincoln bookshop and there's a link in the comments where you can get it for $24 and will ship it with a special date of publication signed today the 12th of april 2021. >> weakens on c-span2 are an intellectual feast, every saturday american history tv documents american story and on sunday booktv brings you the latest of nonfiction books and authors finding free c-span2 comes from these television companies and more including while. >> the world has changed the fast reliable internet connection is something no one can live without so wow is there for our customers speak, reliability, value and choice now more than ever it starts with great internet.
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>> while with these television companies support c-span2 as a public service. >> weakens on c-span2 are an intellectual feast, every saturday you'll find events and people explore our nation's pass on american history tv on sunday booktv brings to the latest in nonfiction books and authors it's television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore, weakens on c-span2. >> an evening everyone the historical society president and ceo and i'm thrilled to welcome you to tonight's virtual program the words that made us the constitution of 1760 - 1840 i'm particular grateful this evening


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