Jane Turner Censer Interviewed by Washington Post about Confederate Memorials

Professor Jane Turner Censer was recently interviewed by the Washington Post about Confederate memorials. In the article, Censer explains the history of the memorials, and offers an analysis of what these memorials continue to mean. 

Over time, though, these markers got larger and more specific, says Jane Censer, a George Mason University professor who studies Southern women of the 19th century. Rather than the memorials appearing just in cemeteries, the UDC began putting them in public spaces: parks, legislative buildings, courthouse lawns. There were plenty of statues to go around — many were made en masse and sold in catalogues, by women who received marble cutting boards for meeting their sales goals.

The ballooning number of Confederate statues around the turn of the 20th century, some historians argue, was a reflection of the changing narrative of the Civil War. It was no longer seen as a grievous loss but a noble rebellion, a “lost cause.” Many of the statues that cause conflict today weren’t built in the years following the Civil War but in the decades following it, and not by widows or daughters of Confederate veterans, but by defiant descendants.

You can read the whole article at the Washington Post.