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Historian Karen Cox: We Have 'No Common Ground' On Confederate Monuments

clt confederate monument.jpg
Marshall Terry/WFAE
A Confederate monument erected at Charlotte's old city hall in 1977. It was relocated to Elmwood Cemetery in 2015.

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021

It’s been 160 years since the beginning of the Civil War. Still, many of today’s conflicts can be traced back to that tumultuous time in American history.

How we remember that history has a direct connection to all of it. We’re still debating why the Civil War was fought — and now, what to do with the Confederate monuments that honor the losing side. We can’t seem to agree on either.

UNC Charlotte historian Dr. Karen Cox says there is "no common ground" when it comes to these monuments. In her book, she digs into the historical context behind the monuments, which she says is essential to understanding their meaning.

She joins guest host Erik Spanberg to explain. Plus, we hear from former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt about a scuffle over a Confederate monument in Charlotte when he was a member of City Council in 1977.

This conversation originally aired April 15, 2021.


Dr. Karen Cox, professor of history at UNC Charlotte and author of "No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice"

Harvey Gantt, former Charlotte mayor, he was a member of Charlotte City Council when a Confederate monument was erected at the old City Hall in 1977 (minutes from the 1977 city council meeting in which Gantt spoke out against the monument.)

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.