In January 2016, senior editor Ron Cassie wrote a prescient article about the controversy surrounding the Confederate monuments in Baltimore.
At the time, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was putting together a special commission to review four monuments: the Robert E. Lee-Stonewall Jackson monument at Wyman Dell, the Roger B. Taney bust in Mt. Vernon, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument in Bolton Hill, and the Confederate Women's monument near the Johns Hopkins University campus at Homewood. The commission voted by 4-3 margin to remove the first two and add context to the latter two monuments.
As we all know, 18 months later, following race-fueled demonstrations and deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the monuments to be taken down in the middle of the night. “They needed to come down,” Pugh said on the morning of August 16. “We moved as quickly as we could.”
On the third episode of our podcast, Cassie interviews Larry Gibson, who has been a professor of law at University of Maryland for nearly 40 years studying civil rights history, and Eric Holcomb, the executive director of the city's Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation. Both were involved in the original special commission to vote on the monuments.
During the episode, the three discuss the history and context surrounding Baltimore's monuments, what will come of the foundations (or plinths) the originals monuments sat on, and why now as a society we are considering what and who we revere.