On May 29, 1890, Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond, Virginia--the lightning rod for Richmond’s greater Confederate memorial landscape--was unveiled. In the summer of 2020, BLM protests targeted these Confederate statues as long-standing symbols of white supremacy. This paper explores how the protests questioned the hegemonic vision behind the Confederate project and put it in conversation with a grassroots and community-engaged vision. From tagging to BLM memorial displays, art installations, and various cultural projects, Richmonders engaged in material culture practices that helped reframe this memorial landscape as a space where black culture and identity could flourish.
Part of 07-05 Maintaining, Reshaping, and Recentering Periphery in Community Spaces [hybrid], Saturday, October 15, 8:00 am–10:00 am