It is exciting to see the level of interest in the future display of Charlottesville’s disused monuments to the perpetuation of white rule.
LAXART’s expression of interest contextualized Charlottesville statues in a very appealing way as the centerpiece of a new collection of disused Jim Crow era statues. It looks “new and shiny”. But I wonder if the subject of the collection will have lasting value or could deteriorate over time to become a “gee whiz” exhibit.
Ferris University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia can better contextualize the statues. It already houses the largest and most scholarly collection in the country (and the world) for a deep understanding of our racist history. And the collection is undergoing a very large, well-funded physical expansion. By sending the statues there will be a fitting memorial to Heather Heyer and others who were injured at the Unite the Right rally. He will locate the statues where they can best contribute to teaching for reversing the ongoing effects of the recently ended era of apartheid.
By embracing the whole subject of the Age of Segregation, the museum will have continuing value. This is the best contextualization available for statues with regard to both the era of segregation and the current white supremacist movement.