ERIC Number: EJ1200046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Confronting Hate: Ideas for Art Educators to Address Confederate Monuments
Buffington, Melanie L.
Art Education, v72 n1 p14-20 2019
In 2015, the mass murder of nine people in a South Carolina church by a White supremacist led to greater public questioning of symbols of the Confederacy. This questioning led to action in the spring of 2017 when four large Confederate monuments were removed in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the citizens of Charlottesville, Virginia, voted to remove the city's monument of Robert E. Lee and rename Lee Park as Emancipation Park. In the days following a racist protest in Charlottesville, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) released a statement responding to the resulting violence, which stated in part: "The NAEA professional community understands that these actual life events impact the very real lives of our nation's children and youth. In response, art educators are encouraged to use this moment to facilitate critical conversations that will effect positive change" (NAEA, 2017). This paper comes directly from that statement, and its purpose is to provide art educators with a brief overview of Confederate symbols and monuments and the era of their construction as well as ideas and resources to help them facilitate critical conversations and artmaking with their students. This article argues that teachers should address these issues and provides suggestions for how they may address Confederate monuments using a range of resources. It is imperative for art teachers to directly address contemporary issues and involve students in understanding how their art may connect to larger societal issues. Studying the built environment--including monuments and other symbols of the Confederacy--is important because it helps students learn about their community and its history. Through the use of primary source materials, art educators can engage students in strong historical research practices that can assist them in understanding works of art and the arguments made to keep or remove them.
Descriptors: Art Education, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Art, Current Events, Physical Environment, Primary Sources, Slavery, United States History, War
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A