Making Public History Statues and Memorials

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Hilda Kean


In June 2020 Black Lives Matter had become prominent in the USA and was taken further in various countries . This included opposition to certain statues and memorials , such as those previously supporting slavery. Such matters were raised in Britain, although both disputes in the past and changes to statues and memorials had previously taken place, for example in Lancaster. Within relatively political progressive places, like Bristol, some disputed memorials had remained. Some press coverage almost implied that there were new recognitions of unknown events even dating back to the early nineteenth century. However, such debates had not been unprecedented. Further, in local disputes or through many past anti racist action and in positive historical school curricula, political and historical positions have been forgotten. Attention should be drawn by public historians to former radical stances and actions. Simply observing and just seeing local stances as new events means being unaware of past activities or ignoring them.

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