Protecting Our heritage, Weatherford, TX, 2017

At first, I was disappointed to see this monument in a box. Then I saw the sign that speaks of Heritage. Apparently, people got alarmed at the monument being boxed. The sign was placed to ease their worry.
Monument to Lt. General A.P. Stewart, Chattanooga, TN, 2018
Alexander P. Stewart, was a graduate of West Point, a professor at several Southern Universities, and a commissioner of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Tennessee. Initially, he was an anti-secessionist Whig, but was persuaded to fight when Tennessee seceded from the Union. This monument in front of the  Hamilton County Courthouse was dedicated by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1919.
Move the Statue, Denton, TX 2019
Willie Hudspeth has been championing the removal of this Monument since 1999. On Sundays, from 4pm-6pm, he sits in the town square and talks to passersby about their thoughts on the monument. Most are not even aware of the monument until it is pointed out to them. Mr. Hudspeth is patient and diligent. He welcomes dialog,  but is firm in his conviction that the monument needs to be moved.
Jesus Is Alive, Longview, TX, 2017
I spoke with this street preacher in Longview, TX. When I asked him where he was from, he told me he was from a small town in Alabama that I wouldn't know anything about. Florence, AL is where my Great-Grandmother lived and where he is from.
Roadside Memorial, Georgetown, LA, 2018
God Guns and Guts, Atmore, AL, 2016
You really can't discuss the South without speaking of God, guns, and guts.
Courthouse and Monument, Ellaville, GA, 2017

Confederate Monument, Dedicated in 2012, Dallas, GA, 2017

Jevsus Saves, Cherry Valley, AR, 2018

Light in the Pines, Georgetown, LA 2018
Courthouse Door, Carnesville, GA, 2018
Convenience Store Taxidermy, Carriere, MS, 2017
USM Flaggers, Hattiesburg, MS, 2018
The USM Flaggers have spent over 200 consecutive Sundays protesting the removal of the Mississippi State Flag from the University Of Southern Mississippi. They will continue until it flies on campus again.
Homecoming Parade, Tuscumbia, AL, 2018
The Confederacy lurks through these quiet, stone sentinels as Southerners go about their daily lives. They are constant reminders of a past that hasn't died.

Barbara Ann's Place, Eldridge, AL, 2018

Hale County Public Library, Greensboro, AL, 2018
Juneteenth Volunteer, Ft. Worth, TX, 2018
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June Nineteenth, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free...two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Cajun J, Baton Rouge, LA, 2015
I met Cajun J in 2015. He is a self-proclaimed racist. He told me that he became racist after he left the Merchant Marines and moved to a black neighborhood. He was also the first person to tell me that Trump would be President. He calls me from time to time to let me know that he is praying for me.
Fog and Sugarcane Field, Lottie, LA, 2017
Monument and Civil Rights Mural, Port Gibson, MS, 2018
In 1966, black citizens of Port Gibson, MS and the NAACP organized a boycott of local white owned businesses. The businesses sued and were awarded a settlement in a lawsuit held in Mississippi trial court. The case was taken to the Supreme Court and in a unanimous decision the ruling was overturned, reaffirming the rights of citizens to use free speech, assembly, and association to produce social change. Port Gibson is one of the few places where a Civil Rights mural is adjacent to a Confederate Monument.
The Wall of Firsts, Juneteenth Museum, Ft. Worth, TX, 2018
Sam, Juneteenth Museum, Ft. Worth, TX, 2018
From My Cold Dead Hands, Benjamin, TX, 2018
Lone Wolf Taxidermy, Lonoke, AR, 2018
Confederate Bikini, Tumbling Shoals, AR, 2018
Crossing Signs and Jam, Lenoir, NC, 2018
Mike Taylor, VP Confederate Riders of America, Longview, TX, 2017
I found Mike on Facebook. He was protesting the removal of a monument. I was struck by the kindness of his approach. When I met him, he made breakfast for me at his house. He loves his Southern Heritage.
Pedestal of Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument, Memphis, TN, 2018
N.B. Forrest was a Confederate General and the first Grand Dragon of the KKK. The figure was removed in 2017 when Health Sciences Park was sold to Memphis Greenspace, a non-profit organization. The site is also the burial place of Forrest and his wife, Mary Anne Montgomery Forrest. Descendants of Forrest have filed a lawsuit against the City of Memphis and the City Council to have the figure replaced. It's a complicated situation that has no easy answers.
Truth Will Prevail, Electra, TX, 2018
The Fort Worth Connection to MLK, Juneteenth Museum, Ft. Worth, TX, 2018
Mowing Around the Monument, Greensboro, AL, 2018
This monument is located in Hale County, Greensboro, AL. Hale county is known for images made by Walker Evans and William Christenberry.  It is named for Confederate officer Stephen Fowler Hale. Mostly controlled by whites, Hale County has a long history with voter disenfranchisement and Jim Crow Laws. Many African-Americans have to live their lives around Confederate Monuments.
Obama T-shirt, Blues Concert at the Juneteenth Museum, Ft. Worth, TX, 2018
Sick and Tired, Eutaw, AL, 2018
Civil War Toys, Chickamauga Battlefield, TN, 2018
They Died and Wore the Gray, Natchez, MS, 2017
Emma Sansom Monument, Gadsden, AL, 2018
In Spring of 1863, Union Colonel Abel Streight burned the bridge across the flooded Black  Creek near Gadsden, AL. 16 year old Emma Sansom’s home was nearby. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was pursuing  Streight, realized he would not be able to cross the creek. Forrest rode to the Sansom farm and asked Emma if there was another place to cross. With no time to saddle a horse for Emma, she rode behind Forrest to show him the narrowest point of the creek. This monument to Emma Sansom was dedicated in 1907.
Homemade Jams and a Lawn Jockey, Lenoir, NC, 2018
Lawn Jockeys have a conflicted history. Attempts to obscure their racial implications have led to many myths concerning their origins. None of the narratives have any historic corroboration. Many perceive them to be racist icons from the past.
Paid For By Jesus, Boone, NC, 2018
Willie Hudspeth Protesting at the Courthouse Square, Denton, TX, 2019
Storm Clouds, Union, Neshoba County, MS, 2018
On June 21, 1964, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, Civil Rights activists, were murdered at the intersection of  Rock Cut Road and County Road 284 in Neshoba County, MS. I took this picture at the intersection of Highway 19 and Cut Rock Road, where KKK members forced the activists off the road and drove them to their deaths. Southern landscapes bear the scars of their history.
Jefferson Davis Highway, Sunset Village, GA, 2017
Driving the backroads through the South reveals what I didn't see when I lived there. My struggle with my Southern Heritage is revealing itself.
Portraits of Lee and Jackson, Hamburg, AR, 2018
I stayed with family friends in Arkansas. I hadn't seen them in over 40 years. Jim has cancer, but still chews tobacco. Linda is still the sassy Southern woman I remember from my youth. They don't understand why anyone would want to take the Monuments down. This is the room where I slept.
Shadow of The Confederacy, Americus, GA, 2017
This Monument to the Confederate Dead was erected in 1901 in Americus, GA. It's an example of post-reconstruction monuments placed by Ladies Memorial Association, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It is a reminder of White Supremacy.
Confederate Flag and Taxidermy, Krotz Springs, LA, 2017
Monuments come in all forms. Taxidermy is a monument to power over nature. The Confederate Flag is a monument to power over other races. The South is complex. I couldn't see the dark truths hidden in the monuments of the South until I moved away.
A Long and Slow Surrender

It all started with a disagreement with my friend. She stated vehemently, that all the Confederate Monuments needed to come down. Now.

My gut reaction was, “No damn Yankee is going to tell me what to do with my statues!” I struggle with that reaction because I have no real connection to these monuments. Yet, I do understand the conflict they represent.

As a Southerner, I often felt that most Northern attitudes toward the South were misconceptions. Now I see those misconceptions have dark truths behind them. My Southern education led me to believe the Lost Cause Myth, which touts States Rights as the impetus for the Civil War. I've read the Letters of Secession from all the Southern States. States Rights, secession, and Southern Heritage can be seen in them, but the core of these letters points to the South’s pro-slavery beliefs and the North’s objective of abolishing slavery as the main reasons for conflict.

I am exploring my clash with my Southern Heritage through these images of Confederate Monuments, and the religious, racial, and rural connections that Southerners experience living among them.
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