Monuments and History

The first excerpt mentions how historians struggle with the fact that a vast majority of people react strongly to the topic of the impact that slavery has had on our history, but that so few people know very much about it. Throughout this, the “romanticized” picture of the slavery, civil war, and racism has some people viewing it all with rose colored glasses. I think that this summarizes what we have been discussing so far, how the American south views these things. But also, when I read about the American Quakers and James Otis I remembered how Dr. Moon said that just because these sentiments were status quo of the past, definitely does not mean that everyone was on board with it. There were people that spoke out about it and how wrong it was.

Additionally, the author stated that people feel like they experience “true” or more “real” history when they go to exhibits or museum. However, we have discussed in class, and we can see it in the other articles, that yes it is good to learn through another avenue, but different narratives can still be left out. A perfect example is in the article from the professor. The two statues, one of a white confederate soldier and one of an African American union soldier. At face value it seems as though the Elmwood Cemetery is honoring African Americans, but it’s untrue. If further research had not bee done then those students wouldn’t know the different between Elmwood and West, they wouldn’t know who William Carney was, and they wouldn’t really know the significance of the only know African American union soldier monument in the south.

I think that this speaks the the importance of being active with our history and past. Even if we aren’t part of the south that wears the rose colored glasses, it is still important for us to be knowledgeable about these things. I personally would not have known about some of these things, or the significance of them, had I not read these articles.

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