Race & Class, July 2018

Past oppressions are written into our statues, our architecture and our walls. This special issue of Race & Class brings a new perspective to reparatory history.

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‘We are, at this moment, witnessing an eruption of active memory’, say Anita Rupprecht and Cathy Bergin. Resistances mobilised around Confederacy statues have provoked mass protests and fierce debate. In Baltimore 2017, statues of Stonewall Jackson and Robert Lee were carried through the streets. Following the killing of Heather Heyer in North Carolina, anti-racist protesters pulled down the statue of a Confederate soldier. The ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign, calling for the removal of statues of Cecil Rhodes, drove international debate about decolonising the curriculum at Universities, which spread from South Africa to Oxford. This special issue of Race & Class 60.1, ‘The past in the present’, brings a new perspective to reparatory history, as a way of recognising the wrongs of the past, and actively working towards repair in the present. Following the reparative history conference at Brighton University last year, we reproduce three articles by Catherine Hall, Anita Rupprecht and Cathy Bergin, and John Newsinger.

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