US Confederate statues a reminder of black oppression - historian

A ceremony to mark the removal of a statue of the general Robert E. Lee who led the confederacy in the American Civil War was held in New Orleans over the last week.

The statue of Lee, who commanded Confederate armies against the Union in the Civil War of 1861-65, was the most prominent and the last of New Orleans' four Confederate monuments.

The significance of confederate statues is a hot political issue in the US with many people insisting these statues are symbols that glorify those who fought to keep slaves. Others believe that they are a part of history and should not be removed.

During the ceremony the mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu gave a speech saying: "...those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth."

Stephen Grootes spoke to history lecturer, Dr Nomalaga Mkhize about this controversial issue.

In the first instance, it is very important not to sanitise the oppression of black people just because time has passed.....you have to face up, just like the mayor of New Orleans is saying, you have to face up to the horror of it.

Nomalanga Mkhize, History lecturer at Rhodes University

Now having said that the question is how do you deal with the monuments of those who were party those kinds of atrocities....because of the nature of our society, I think what we haven't quite come to terms with is how do we deal with the heritage in a way that doesn't necessarily re-trigger or re-traumatise, if we are removing statues, with what spirit are we doing it?

Nomalanga Mkhize, History lecturer at Rhodes University

The sensitivity is not for the statue, it is to the Africans who have the memory of oppression.

Nomalanga Mkhize, History lecturer at Rhodes University

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Nehawu Wits acting secretary Tumisho Madihlaba says negotiations with management deadlocked resulting in a strike.

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

‘Documents show that the fee contract was entered into by Anoj Singh & signed off by the acting CEO Sean Maritz' - Chris Yelland

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May 4 marks "May the Fourth be with you," Day celebrated by fans George Lucas' fans of his Star Wars global movie franchise.

Are statues outdated? Prof Brenda Schmahmann says they are

Are statues outdated? Prof Brenda Schmahmann says they are

The City of Cape Town plans to honour former president Nelson Mandela with a R3.5m statue and exhibition at the City Hall

Statues and Symbols Movements - Rhodes has fallen, is Louis Botha next?

Statues and Symbols Movements - Rhodes has fallen, is Louis Botha next?

The Midday Report - where you won't miss a thing

Momentum over various 'statues and symbols' movements across SA

Momentum over various 'statues and symbols' movements across SA

The Midday Report - where you won't miss a thing

Popular articles
#Changemakers2018: I don't like talking about myself, but I need to - Ray Zondo

#Changemakers2018: I don't like talking about myself, but I need to - Ray Zondo

At the #Changemakers2018 conference, Deputy Chief Justice of SA Raymond Zondo spoke about the struggles he faced growing up.

The Polo GTI has got that vrrrpha mentality written all over it - Jacob Moshokoa

The Polo GTI has got that vrrrpha mentality written all over it - Jacob Moshokoa

Automotive Journalist, Jacob Moshokoa shares his views of the Polo GTI 2018, and chats about the vrrrpha mentality among young men

Yet another wet and cold weekend for Gauteng warns weather service

Yet another wet and cold weekend for Gauteng warns weather service

Gauteng residents are warned to brace themselves for another weekend of heavy rain, possible hail and damaging winds.

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone Viral'.

Calls for more women to come forward and testify at Timothy Omotoso's trial

Calls for more women to come forward and testify at Timothy Omotoso's trial

Thanduxolo Jindela explains why he is running a campaign to encourage more of Omotoso’s victims to come out and testify.

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

Azania Mosaka catches up with Sbahle Zwane's mother to hear about developments with his schooling.