Advertisement

This Rock Will Not Be Forgotten: Whiteness and the Politics of Memorial Art

  • Elizabeth Whittenburg Ozment
Chapter

Abstract

Commemorative art dilutes social complexities and conveys a fairly universal message: that whatever is being memorialized is worth remembering. This chapter questions how we might reconcile contemporary discourses and lived practices at public artworks with the inherited legacy of racial violence that inspired their creation. This chapter locates one Southern sculpture within a broader sociohistorical context, and draws parallels between racialized meanings of memorial carvings and other remnants of American Civil War and Jim Crow memory in order to demonstrate how memorials reflect key developments in Southern identity politics. Ultimately, the chapter engages ongoing debates about the future of Confederate monuments as an effort to answer the following question: what are we to do with public art relics of our racist past?

Keywords

Memorial Commemorate Confederacy US Civil War South Georgia Stone Mountain 

References

  1. Bartley, N. V. (1995). The New South 1945–1980: The story of the South’s modernization. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Blight, D. W. (2001). Race and reunion: The Civil War in American memory. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bluestein, G. (2015, July 28). Nathan Deal on Stone Mountain makeover: ‘It is not a debate that is useful.’ Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/07/28/nathan-deal-on-stone-mountain-makeover-it-is-not-a-debate-that-is-useful
  4. Borglum, G. (1920). [“Moulding a Mountain” unpublished pamphlet]. Stone Mountain collection, 1915–1977 (Unprocessed additions, clippings, printed material). Emory University Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library, Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, B. L., Elwell, G. R., & Georgia Civil War Commission. (2010). Crossroads of conflict: A guide to Civil War sites in Georgia. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chalmers, D. M. (2000). Hooded Americanism: The history of the Ku Klux Klan (3rd ed.). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cobb, J. C. (2005). The Brown decision, Jim Crow, and Southern identity. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cobb, J. C. (2008). Georgia odyssey. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  9. Coski, J. (1998). Carved in stone: The history of Stone Mountain (review). Southern Cultures, 4(3), 102–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coski, J. M. (2005). The Confederate battle flag: America’s most embattled emblem. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Crenshaw, K. W. (2011). Twenty years of critical race theory: Looking backward to move forward. Connecticut Law Review, 43(5), 1253–1352.Google Scholar
  12. Delgado, R. (1989). Storytelling for oppositionists and others: A plea for narrative. Michigan Law Review, 87(8), 2411–2441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dinnerstein, L. (2008). The Leo Frank case. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  14. Dixon, T. (1905). The clansman: An historical romance of the Ku Klux Klan. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  15. Doss, E. (2012). Memorial mania: Public feeling in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Essex, J. (2002). The real South starts here: Whiteness, the Confederacy, and commodification at Stone Mountain. Southeastern Geographer, 42(2), 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fahs, A., & Waugh, J. (2004). The memory of the Civil War in American culture. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  18. Flowers, W. (2015). Speech at Stone Mountain Park. Recorded speech. Retrieved August 20, 2015, from http://leagueofthesouth.com/league-speaks-at-stone-mountain
  19. Foster, G. M. (1987). Ghosts of the confederacy: Defeat, the lost cause, and the emergence of the new South, 1865 to 1913. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Freeman, D. B. (1997). Carved in stone: The history of Stone Mountain. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Funke, D. (2015). Caravans of Confederate flag supporters arrive for rally at Stone Mountain. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 1, 2015, from http://news.blog.ajc.com/2015/08/01/caravans-of-confederate-flag-supporters-arrive-for-rally-at-stone-mountain
  22. Gallagher, G. W. (2008). Causes won, lost, and forgotten: How Hollywood & popular art shape what we know about the Civil War. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gallagher, G. W., & Nolan, A. T. (2000). The myth of the lost cause and Civil War history. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Georgia General Assembly. (2018). Official code of Georgia annotated. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx
  25. Glassberg, D. (1990). American historical pageantry: The uses of tradition in the early twentieth century. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  26. Griffith, D. (1915). The birth of a nation. David W. Griffith Corporation.Google Scholar
  27. Hale, G. E. (1998). Granite stopped time: The Stone Mountain memorial and the representation of white southern identity. The Georgia Historical Quarterly, 82(1), 22–44.Google Scholar
  28. Harris, C. (1995). Whiteness as property. In K. Crenshaw, N. Gotanda, G. Peller, & K. Thomas (Eds.), Critical race theory the key writings that formed the movement (pp. 276–291). New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  29. Herschend Family Entertainment. Our founders. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.hfecorp.com/about-us/founders/
  30. Hollis, T. (2009). Stone Mountain Park. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publications.Google Scholar
  31. hooks, b. (1995). Art on my mind: Visual politics. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, J. (2012). Just the facts: Lasershow spectacular in Mountainvision. Stone Mountain, GA: Park Press Kit.Google Scholar
  33. Kruse, K. M. (2005). White flight: Atlanta and the making of modern conservatism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Lowery, J. V. (2012). A monument to many souths: Tourists experience southern distinctiveness at Stone Mountain. In K. L. Cox (Ed.), Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern history (pp. 223–243). Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Malloy, D. (2015, July 14). Sandblasting the Confederate faces off Stone Mountain? Yeah, right. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved August 20, 2015, from http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/07/14/sandblasting-the-confederate-faces-off-stone-mountain-yeah-right
  36. Martinez, M. (2008). The Georgia Confederate flag dispute. Georgia Historical Quarterly, 92(Summer), 200–228.Google Scholar
  37. Mulvey, L. (1975). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. Screen, 16(3), 6–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nicholson, J. T. [ca. 2015]. CSA flag rally 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015, from https://www.facebook.com/csa2flag0rally15/info?tab=page_info
  39. Prelli, L. J. (2006). Rhetorics of display. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  40. Rutherford, M. L. (1924). History of the Stone Mountain memorial. Athens, GA: United Daughters of the Confederacy.Google Scholar
  41. Savage, K. (1997). Standing soldiers, kneeling slaves: Race, war, and monument in nineteenth-century America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sengupta, S. (2000, October 8). Park is hail to southern spirit. The New York Times, 18.Google Scholar
  43. Sewell, D. (1997, November 17). Town where Klan was reborn will have Black mayor. Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2015, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1997/11/17/town-where-klan-was-reborn-will-have-Black-mayor/65210e19-759e-4c9c-beb3-954f64c81eeb
  44. Stewart, S. (1992). On longing: Narratives of the miniature, the gigantic, the souvenir, the collection. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Stone Mountain Memorial Association. (2005). Master plan amendment report. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from http://stonemountainpark.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/03/SMMA-Master-Plan-2015.pdf
  46. Stone Mountain Memorial Association. (2015a). Stone Mountain educational programs for schools. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from http://stonemountainpark.org/education/schools/
  47. Stone Mountain Memorial Association. (2015b). Strategic plan. Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://stonemountainpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SMMA-Strategic-Plan-2015.pdf
  48. Stone Mountain Park. Activities: Lasershow. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.stonemountainpark.com/Activities/Shows-Entertainment/Lasershow
  49. Stone Mountain Park. School programs. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from https://www.stonemountainpark.com/groups-education/school-programs
  50. Tuck, S. G. N. (2001). Beyond Atlanta: The struggle for racial equality in Georgia, 1940–1980. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  51. Wade, W. C. (1987). The fiery cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  52. Williams, P. (2013) Happy. On Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [CD]. Miami, FL: Columbia.Google Scholar
  53. Willis, G. J. (1982, June 8). Light and sound production. Memorandum to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.Google Scholar
  54. Willis, G. J. (1983, September 6). Laser, light & sound show: Attendance figures. Memorandum to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.Google Scholar
  55. Wilson, C. R. (1980). Baptized in blood: The religion of the Lost Cause, 1865–1920. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  56. Yancy, G. (2004). What white looks like: African-American philosophers on the whiteness question. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Yancy, G. (2008). Black bodies, white gazes: The continuing significance of race. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Whittenburg Ozment
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations