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public history



  • Why Confederate Lies Live On

    by Clint Smith

    Throughout the south, and in the minds of Americans, aesthetics and idealized depictions of valor continue to obscure the fact that the Confederacy fought to maintain a social order based on the ownership of human beings and white supremacy.



  • Alamo Renovation Gets Stuck over Arguments about Slavery

    Renovations to the Alamo have hit a predictable political snag, as conservative Texans insist that the site maintain its denial about the slaveholding of many of the Alamo's defenders or the pro-slavery ambitions of the Republic of Texas and threaten to block bills encouraging more historically informed exhibits. 



  • Black Resistance from Augusta to BLM

    by John Hayes and Nefertiti Robinson

    Even among Black residents of Augusta, Georgia, an "official" story about an episode of civil unrest has become the dominant narrative and overshadowed historical and contemporary issues with police brutality. 



  • Some Statues Tell Lies. This One Tells the Truth

    Washington State has replaced one of its statues in the US Capitol Statuary hall, that celebrated missionary Marcus Whitman, with one honoring Native American treaty rights advocate Billy Frank, Jr. 



  • What Manhattan Beach’s Racist Land Grab Really Meant

    by Alison Rose Jefferson

    Debates over  the redress of past racial injustice must acknowledge that some past actions have harmed communities in ways that can't be repaired, including the loss of space for communal leisure or equal access to everyday pleasures. 



  • Maryland’s State Song, a Nod to the Confederacy, Nears Repeal

    "Maryland, My Maryland" was written by a Confederate sympathizer in 1861 and has come under scrutiny in recent years for its characterization of the Union army as a force of tyranny and call for listerners to fight for the Confederacy. 



  • The Problem with Confederate Monuments

    by Karen L. Cox

    "I also believe it’s important that I, a Southern white woman, write and speak about this topic with blunt honesty. Monument defenders cannot dismiss me as a Northern liberal who has invaded the region to tell them what to do. I’ve grown up here, too."