Reckoning with the Past

Posted on July 1, 2022 by Susan McCready
Susan McCready

Photograph of David Messenger, Chair of the History Department at the University of South Alabama data-lightbox='featured'
David Messenger, Chair of History

On June 5, 2020, the City of Mobile removed what was arguably its most prominent Civil War monument, a statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes that had stood on Government Street at the head of the Bankhead tunnel since 1900. The statue was sent to the History Museum of Mobile for preservation, but its vacant pedestal remains in place like an open question. How should we honor our past? it seems to ask. How can we shape our public spaces to reflect our shared values? What monuments might we want to leave for future generations? 

With funding from the Alabama Humanities Alliance, Dr. David Messenger, Chair of the History Department at USA will lead an interdisciplinary team including Dr. Pat Cesarini of the Department of English and Dr. Steven Schultze of Earth Sciences in exploring these questions, mapping and presenting their findings. 

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