Jefferson School African American Heritage Center Hosts Confederate Monument Tour
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The city of Charlottesville is hoping to bring people together, by speaking about Confederate landmarks in the area. As one of the first #UnityDays events of May, leaders in Charlottesville asked people to dive into the history of those statues.
“The way in which America has educated itself has created for us a false narrative, that many of us believe,” said Andrea Douglas, executive director at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.
That false narrative was looked at through a broader scope, thanks to a tour of Confederate monuments in Downtown Charlottesville on Sunday.
“You know, we always do these tours thinking that or knowing that people don’t have this education, they don’t know it. It is not surprising that people come to the tour, but when you look out and see the numbers of people it really solidifies the need for the tour. I think that is the thing that is different, two years later,” said Douglas.
Sunday's tour was particularly relevant for guides and guests because just days prior, Judge Richard Moore declared the monuments war memorials. That declaration meant the monuments could not be removed by the city without permission from the state.
“I think it has to do with a continued call for the removal of them, this is now in some ways at the level of the legislature. If we can get the General Assembly to pass the law that says that localities have the right to make decisions about their objects in public spaces, then we move another step forward,” stated Douglas.
Those steps forward led some who take the tour to the larger history of Charlottesville.
“We’re standing on this thin layer of what we assume to be the history of this place, and underneath is layer after layer of incredible different truths, different realities,” said Adrienne Ward, attended Charlottesville Unity Day Tour.
There is not a formal date for another tour of those statues, but you can visit the Jefferson School's Facebook page. There, you can also find more information about other Unity Day events.