Learn how enslaved African Americans in Richmond, Virginia, established what a historian in this clip calls “quasi-free communities, where they etched out lives for themselves, that paved the way forward.” This resource is part of the How the Monuments Came Down collection, created by Virginia Public Media.
Discover how African American political organizing in Richmond, Virginia, in the first decades after the Civil War, secured a measure of power amid ongoing fights against injustice.
Discover how white southerners in Richmond, Virginia, honored General Robert E. Lee through a monument of his likeness unveiled in the former Confederate capital in 1890.
Discover John Mitchell, Jr. and Maggie L Walker, two African American leaders in Richmond, Virginia, whom a historian in this clip refers to as “the vanguard” of Black resistance to white supremacy there.
Learn why white city leaders in Richmond, Virginia, in the early 20th century, embraced the nationwide “City Beautiful” movement through the construction of Monument Avenue, a grand boulevard lined with statues to Confederates.
Learn why blackface minstrelsy in the early 20th century sought to “parody and caricature Black ambition and achievement,” as explained by historians in this clip. Note to Teachers: The video clip, Caricatures of African Americans, includes depictions of blackface; in an effort to provide authentic and transparent resources about the historical experiences of Black Americans, these moments were not censored.
Learn about Jackson Ward, a historic African American neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, and why white city leaders supported the construction of an interstate highway through its center in the 1950s.
Discover the motivations, strategies, and success of the Crusade for Voters, a pathbreaking initiative that made possible the election of the first majority-Black city council in Richmond, Virginia, in 1977.
Learn why the first majority-Black city council in Richmond, Virginia, in the late 1970s, avoided discussion of the city’s Confederate monuments while attending to urgent crises of housing and education.
Learn about tennis champion Arthur Ashe, whose death spurred residents of his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, to honor him with a statue along a grand boulevard that had previously only featured statues of Confederates
Learn how activists in Richmond, Virginia, are working to honor the lives of free and enslaved African Americans, in a city where the most prominent monuments had long celebrated Confederates.
See how descendants, community groups, and a National Park Service site worked together to establish a monument to Maggie L. Walker, an African American leader from Richmond, Virginia.
Learn how a mayoral commission attempted to reckon with Confederate monuments in Richmond, Virginia—and how political scandal and electoral change helped reshape the city’s statuary landscape. Note to Teachers:Some of these video clips include depictions of blackface; in an effort to provide authentic and transparent resources about the historical experiences of Black Americans, these moments were not censored. Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.
Discover why protests in Richmond, Virginia, following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, centered on Monument Avenue—a grand boulevard then-lined with statues of Confederates.
See the removal of Confederate monuments in Richmond, Virginia—first, through direct action by protestors, and then by city-ordered cranes—amid summer 2020 protests against systemic racism following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Learn about Marcus-David Peters, a teacher in Richmond, Virginia, who was killed by police while having a mental health crisis, and why activists there see his death as one of many examples of how white supremacy endures in the city even as Confederate statues have been removed.
How the Monuments Came Down explores the complex history of Richmond, Virginia through the lens of Confederate monuments, supported by an extensive visual record never before presented in a single work.Through personal stories from descendants and history-makers, the film uncovers how Confederate monuments came to shape Richmond’s landscape and why protestors demanded they come down.How the Monuments Came Down is a production of Field Studio, in association with VPM.