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On America

Calls to Remove: On Confederate Statues in America

Free

Online Event

Wednesday, 7:30 pm EDT October 7, 2020

On America series brings fiction writers together with journalists, scholars, activists, and other agents for change for a deeply thoughtful reflection on issues affecting the nation. See all events in series.


Can America overcome the generational effects of 400 years of slavery when monuments honoring Confederate generals and slave traders still stand? That’s the central question in Connor Towne O’Neill’s upcoming book Down Along with That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy.

O’Neill uses heated conflicts over attempts to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s monument as a window into recent movements to both preserve and take down these memorials. Award-winning filmmaker and activist Bree Newsome Bass and California State University history professors Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts, co-authors of Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy, will join Towne O’Neill in conversation.

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In Conversation

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    Connor Towne O’Neill

    Connor Towne O’Neill

    Connor Towne O’Neill’s writing has appeared in New York magazine, Vulture, Slate, RBMA, and the Village Voice, and he works as a producer on the NPR podcast White Lies. Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he lives in Auburn, Alabama, where he teaches at Auburn University and with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project.

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    Bree Newsome Bass

    Bree Newsome Bass

    Bree Newsome Bass is a community organizer and activist who removed the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina State House. She established herself as a touchstone of empowerment for people around the world when she scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina State House and removed the Confederate flag, declaring, “This flag comes down today!” An award-winning filmmaker, writer, composer, singer, community activist and organizer, she blends her talents in pursuit of social and economic justice.

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    Ethan J. Kytle

    Ethan J. Kytle

    Ethan J. Kytle is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno. The co-author, with Blain Roberts, of ​Denmark Vesey’s Garden​ (The New Press) and the author of ​Romantic Reformers and the Antislavery Struggle in the Civil War Era​, he lives in Fresno, California.

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    Blain Roberts

    Blain Roberts

    Blain Roberts is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno. The co-author, with Ethan J. Kytle, of ​Denmark Vesey’s Garden​ (The New Press) and the author of ​Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women​, she lives in Fresno, California.