The simple answer is that the legacy of slavery continues to shape the world we inhabit.
Slavery depended upon a brutalizing and dehumanizing system of oppression based in racial hierarchies and economic exploitation and gain. Slavery promoted an institutionalized regime of white supremacy that has survived into our present moment. We cannot understand the racial inequality and economic injustice that structure contemporary American life without a sustained examination of slavery.
Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past: Race, Memorialization, Public Space, and Civic Engagement investigates how we visualize, interpret, and engage the slave past through contemporary monuments created for public spaces. Our aim is a deep and sustained inquiry into the legacy of slavery, the systemic nature of racism, and the diverse histories of resistance and struggle. Our hope is that by confronting the way slavery has shaped our public spaces and memorial culture we may begin to create more inclusive, racially just histories and communities.