Thursday, September 3, 2020

America’s Monuments, Reimagined for a More Just Future

By Jennifer Odem, July 2020
Ibrahim Mahama, “Dreams In-Between Dreams, 1909-1972,” 2020 © the artist. Altered image: Dennis Macdonald/Alamy Stock Photo
There has already been significant work done toward reimagining monuments — both figurative and abstract — in the media and among elected officials. In 2018, the editor Erin E. Evans launched “The Black Monuments Project” on the website Mic, which envisioned an America in which our public monuments celebrated Black greatness rather than white oppression. In July of this year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to remove Confederate monuments from the Capitol building in D.C. and to replace a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney — the author of the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision, which ruled that the Constitution did not grant Black Americans citizenship — with one of Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court’s first Black justice, who died in 1993. [More