Share to Google Classroom

Should Confederate monuments be removed from public spaces?

The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago in 1865, but monuments to the Confederate generals and soldiers who fought to maintain slavery stand all around the United States. As we reckon with our history of racial injustice and inequality, many places are removing Confederate monuments from public places. Opponents say this erases history, but proponents say statues like these create a false narrative that distorts the truth about the Civil War.


In Richmond, Va., Protesters Transform A Confederate Statue

Confederate Monuments Are Coming Down, Are Streets And Highways Next?

Additional resources to think about

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Explore the first memorial in the United States dedicated to the memory of enslaved Black people and victims of lynching.

New Context For Confederate Memorials
In St. Augustine, Florida, city leaders have decided to add placards displaying contextual information to the city’s existing Civil War memorial.

Why Are There SO Many Confederate Monuments?
In this episode of Origin of Everything, Dr. Bainbridge explores why the majority of Confederate monuments were built during the eras of Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights Movement, not immediately after the conclusion of the Civil War.

New Statue Unveiled In Response To Richmond's Confederate Monuments
The artist Kehinde Wiley responds to Confederate monuments by creating Rumors of War, a bronze equestrian statue showing a rider with dreadlocks and wearing Nike shoes.

Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy
On this map compiled in 2019 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, discover where Confederate monuments are located in the United States. Are there any in your community? Are they still there today

Graven Image
Using only archival photographs, documents, and videos, this short from POV tells the complicated history of the largest Confederate monument in the United States: Stone Mountain in Georgia.

Robert E. Lee opposed Confederate monuments
A reporter explores how Confederate leader Robert E. Lee opposed the building of Confederate monuments after the end of the Civil War.

The Complicated History Of The Confederate Flag
The guys from The Good Stuff explore the history and controversy of the Confederate flag.

Monumental Lies | REVEAL
This episode of the REVEAL podcast explores the legacy of Confederate monuments and the distorted view of history that goes with them. The second segment takes a look at a statue in New Mexico that has stoked similar controversy.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?


Should Confederate monuments be removed from public spaces?

How was your Thinkalong experience?

We actively use feedback to provide better resources to students and educators, so please take 1 minute to provide feedback and help us improve.