With the recent removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans and other Southern cities capturing national headlines, local residents, historians and scholars once again turns their eyes to Asheville’s Confederate landmarks and what they symbolize to our community.
While it didn’t rival the Women’s March on Asheville held in January, the Kid’s Protest march in Asheville on Sunday, Feb. 5, also drew a large and passionate crowd of protesters. Organized by the children of local musician Sparrow Pants, the event gave kids an opportunity to share their concerns about the administration of President Donald Trump and its policies.
“I believe he well deserves our respect and the monument that stands in his honor!”
“I am all for never seeing a Confederate flag again, but we need proper context for our precedents who lived in a world so different from our own.”
“To ignore the positive things that have occurred in our history is an injustice. Sadly, it seems, most people today want to turn everything into a racial issue.”
“What message are we really giving to all of our city residents? That only white people count?”
“Should we change the name of the Lincoln Memorial and the many other buildings and monuments that pay tribute to the great men and women of their time?”
“History should be left alone to be understood and appreciated. It should not be a matter of current approval. Some of us respect Vance.”
“Other U.S. cities are removing Confederate symbology and monuments. Let’s not waste any more time — Asheville needs to join them, now.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice have a few more parks, squares, green spaces, libraries and Urban Trail stops named after other important figures in Asheville’s and Western North Carolina’s history? You might be surprised by how many are not white males.”
A rededication ceremony for the Vance Monument is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at the foot of the monument in Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville.
“I urge all those attending the June 6 rededication to see it as the time to reconsider this person and time period, in part, as cultural artifacts. Rather than focusing only on honor and glory, I implore speakers and audience members alike to face history’s shadow side, and our own, to address this complex story in a way that embraces all the impacts.”
“As a transplanted Northerner, I have always been amazed that the South wants to glorify its past Confederate history while being so quick to overlook its true history, both past and present, of violence, hate, impoverishment and economic and chattel slavery of people. “
The upcoming restoration of the Vance monument is said to honor the memory of Zebulon Vance, Confederate military officer and wartime governor. But there’s another side to this story. By many accounts, Vance was a white supremacist who supported and profited from slavery. Many are saying that it’s important to consider what ideals and what history the momunment reflects — and also what is absent.
Here’s a sneak-peak at the March 10 meeting of Asheville’s city council.
Protesters took to the streets in Asheville in the wake of the Dec. 3 grand jury decision not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July 2014 death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner. (lead photo by John Penley)
Activists who gathered Thursday night, Nov. 20, during the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TdoR) say there is ongoing danger toward transgender people living in Asheville, and it may not be an issue that is on people’s radar. “There is danger for transgender people living in Asheville. I know of transgender women who have faced danger […]
There are naming rights and there are naming not-so-rights.
A small but passionate group promoted awareness on the chemtrail and geoengineering issue on Saturday, Aug. 25. [By guest contributor Doug Johnson]
Lt. Wilke of the Asheville Police Department informs Occupy protesters of their options, including that they face arrest for remaining in the park past 10 p.m.
Photos by Bill Rhodes
If you happened to walk or drive past the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville on Tuesday, Feb. 1, you probably noticed a sign-toting group gathered there. The monument’s a regular spot for protesters and those trying to raise awareness about various issues. In this case, the group was part of a state-wide protest — Vigils in Defense of Educational Access.
photos by Jerry Nelson