Rolling Out

Will statues honoring people of color replace those of Confederate generals?

Public art is widely viewed as a tool to tell a more complete and honest narrative. As noted in the key findings of the Monuments Lab Audit: Monuments should be held accountable to history. “Monuments that perpetuate harmful myths and that portray conquest and oppression as acts of valor require honest reckoning, conceptual dismantling, and active repair,” the audit concluded.


Part of the repair is occurring in Charlottesville and in Richmond, Virginia, where most notably “Rumors of War”, featuring a Black man in dreds and urban streetwear atop a powerful horse, stands near the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


As with Charlottesville, Americans can reject the notion that our future, as now represented in public statues, is permanently fixed in stone. Perhaps when it comes to our existing statues, it is time to consider what we can melt down in other places and forge anew.

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