“As a historian I feel it is my duty to offer whatever information I can to this community to objectively deal with this issue…I feel I can contribute something to keep this to a civil conversation about civic space here in Charlottesville.”
– Prof. Ervin L. Jordan Jr., Research Archivist, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
In his role as a Civil War historian, Ervin Jordan has noted in two of his books that “African-American history is not for the squeamish” and “The Past belongs to all of us or none of us.” According to Jordan, the current public debate on African-Americans and the Charlottesville Confederate statues controversy (particularly the Robert E. Lee statue) is a public opportunity to explore why race and other aspects of the Civil War remain controversial 151 years after the war’s end. Jordan says the public must ask whether Confederate monuments deserve a public space in civic landscapes, and if there can be coexistence of black and white heroes as public monuments.
Jordan recently discussed this subject during a television interview on “The Coy Barefoot Program” [The Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia], 1 May 2016 (WVAW ABC Channel 3, Charlottesville, Virginia) and re-broadcast 5 May 2016 (WVPT-PBS, Channel 11, Harrisonburg, Virginia).
Jordan’s segment comprises the first 20 minutes of the show, and can be viewed on “Ervin Jordan on the Coy Barefoot Program, May 1, 2016.”