The Confederate Monuments of America Project began in May 2017 collecting oral histories at protest events around Gainesville’s Confederate monument colloquially known as ‘Old Joe.’ The project’s aim is to give narrative voice for future historical research, to both sides of a rising national controversy. Collecting oral histories at protest events has brought both challenges to the field of oral history and rewarding experience. Gathering interviews amidst controversy and political difference provides a deep understanding of differing views through constructive listening for the present, and multidimensional narratives for the future.
Since the removal of ‘Old Joe’ in August 2017, the Confederate Monuments of America Project was led to St. Augustine. Efforts against two Confederate monuments, located at the Plaza de le Constitución, began in October by community members led by Rev. Ron Rawls of St. Paul AME Church. The CMA Project is also following efforts in Jacksonville out of Hemming Park.
Brenda Stroud is the coordinator of the Confederate Monuments of America Project. She is an undergraduate student in the Honors History Department at the University of Florida with a focus on Southern History. Her study interests are in political history and social justice specific to the American South. Her current archival research includes radical figures of the Reconstruction era and segregationists of the Civil Rights era both inside the history of North Carolina. Her research specific to the national Confederate monument controversy led to the development of the Confederate Monuments of America Project, and as its Coordinator she leads fieldwork teams to Confederate monument protest events in Gainesville, Florida, and the surrounding areas.
The Confederate Monuments of America Project welcomes volunteers and collaborative partnerships to assist in the educational and personal learning experiences built from constructive political discourse. For more information on volunteer opportunities with the CMA Project contact Brenda Stroud via email.
Confederate Monuments in the News