An UnMonumental Project

Kelley Libby and Chioke I’Anson, guests on our show “Encounters at the Heart of the World.” Kelley Libby is the producer of UnMonumental, a weekly series about how the past is remembered in Richmond, Virginia. Check out her stories here: UnMonumental

Kelley and Chioke


2 Comments on “An UnMonumental Project”

  1. J.

    Chioke I’Anson, good show, but enough with saying “like” and “you know what I mean”…crutches, just crutches, heard the show you were on Sat. June 11 on WAMU, before 6am, and the topics were good, as always, but, really, learn to speak without the crutches…seems like many of today’s shows and people on the street say “like” to say something, while they try and think what to say – not on radio or a podcast please (or ever actually) – this is not negative feedback, it’s honest feedback. good luck should you choose to follow this advice….signed, a member of the media

  2. Michael Harper

    Brillliant discussion! Having lived on Monument Avenue for years when I lived in Richmond, it was often difficult to come to terms with what I felt about the monuments. It always felt as if something was missing from the explanation of them if anyone could be bothered to give an explanation. I remember with glee when Arthur Ashe’s statue was placed at the end of the line of Confederate soldiers and Murray, and all the controversy that stirred. It felt as if history was being rectified. All those years ago, a reporter asked me – “As a black man living on Monument Avenue, what do you think of all of these Confederate monuments?” I said something incoherent – They don’t really bother me or something like that. Subconsciously, they did bother me, but I just felt as though they were a part of history about which I could do very little. I had always been political, but not radically so. I saw the monuments as a part of Virginia to which they would hold on to steadfastly – a bit like the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Virginia Historical Society and their take on Virginia history.

    This conversation really elucidated the subject of the monuments and my feelings about them. I want people to have their history and their take on it, but also to tell the whole story. The monuments are too clean – too lily white. They need a bit of blood on them because they were all about blood. The Civil War was about protecting and maintaining something that was reprehensible – an idea that some in the South still uphold. Something that was and is indefensible. Keep your heroes, keep your monuments. No requirement for any more public sackcloth and ashes. Just tell the truth with the blood attached to the monuments. Tell the whole story. Such a brilliant conversation. It helped to make clear for me today what I couldn’t and almost dared not express all those years ago.