LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 7, 2017) – The debate surrounding Confederate monuments and statues in public spaces has ebbed and flowed since their creation. This debate seems to be at high point, with the June 2015 murders of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina serving as a springboard into a national spotlight of conversation and controversy.
From Florida to California, from Alabama to Maine, monuments to the Confederacy have been under increased scrutiny and efforts to either preserve them on or remove them from the grounds they occupy.
In an effort to get more perspective on the swirling interest around the future of these statues, this week’s episode of Behind the Blue features Dr. Amy Murrell Taylor, from the Department of History in the UK College of Arts & Sciences. A 2016 winner of the UK Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award, Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on the social and cultural history of the U.S. South in the era of the Civil War and Emancipation.
Dr. Taylor’s first book, The Divided Family in Civil War America (UNC Press, 2005), explored the image and reality of families divided by national loyalties in the Civil War period. Her current book project, Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the U.S. Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps (UNC Press, forthcoming), is a study of the many thousands of men, women, and children who fled slavery during the Civil War.
Dr. Taylor gives a historian’s perspective on how she approaches the discussion regarding these monuments, how many people would be surprised at Kentucky’s actual role in the Civil War, the reactions and insights she gets from students, and more.
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