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Confederacy in the capitol

If you missed last weekend’s great piece on the state capitol’s Confederate monuments by WRAL’s Tyler Dukes, make the time to check it out today.

From the piece:

Although statues in Durham and on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have become flashpoints for protesters in recent weeks, the old State Capitol grounds hosts four monuments to Confederate causes and soldiers erected between 30 and 75 years after the end of the Civil War. They stand among about a dozen other memorials commemorating presidents, governors and veterans of several wars.

Susanna Lee, an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University, says the Civil War monuments downtown are different than those built to memorialize individual soldiers in graveyards, several of which can be found just blocks away in Oakwood Cemetery. As political campaigns of white supremacy gained ground in North Carolina and across the country, memorials like those at the Capitol spread.

And they were built directly in public spaces, outside centers of government power.

“That association and placement shows their more overt and political intention,” said Lee, who often takes her classes to tour the Capitol structures. “They were sort of a declaration of who is in charge now.”

Be sure to read NC Policy Watch’s story on the issue last week and watch for our continuing coverage later this week.

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