How The Monuments Came Down
How the Monuments Came Down explores Richmond’s complex history through the lens of Confederate monuments, supported by an extensive visual record never before presented in a single work.
In the summer of 2020, demonstrators filled the streets to protest against systemic racism following the murder of George Floyd. How the Monuments Came Down reveals the historic roots of white supremacy and Black resistance in Richmond since the end of the Civil War. Through personal stories from descendants and history-makers, the film uncovers how Confederate monuments came to shape Richmond’s landscape and why protestors demanded they come down.
Black and white men stand in front of and behind the Lee Monument in 1890 before it was installed and unveiled to the public. Image courtesy of The Valentine.
The curriculum guide is also accessible via PBS LearningMedia. Show clips of the film in your classroom, and download complementary learning opportunities written by Rodney Robinson.
After researching the history of Jackson Ward, two sisters — Enjoli Moon and Dr. Sesha Joi Pritchett-Moon — created the “JXN Project.” It’s a research project that works to accurately show the origin story of Jackson Ward, which has been referred to as the "Harlem of the South."
Dr. Ed Ayers, from University of Richmond, is working to connect people to the untold stories of America's past. Ayers is the Executive Director of the New American History project, which uses digital media to tell the story of the nation's past.
Dr. Ma'Asehyahu Isra-UI developed a new elective history class for Richmond Public Schools, highlighting the often overlooked stories for marginalized groups.
The American Civil War Museum created "On Monument Avenue," which features an online exhibit and blog series to explore the history of Monument Avenue.
The Daily Newscast.
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Photographer Sanjay Suchak discusses his experience capturing the moment Confederate statues were taken down in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Why This Moment” captures Richmond’s frustrations over police brutality. Watch the film Thursday, Sept. 30 on VPM PBSFollowing the murder of George Floyd, Richmond filmmakers and protesters share their frustrations in "Why This Moment" from the beginning to the removal of confederate monuments, airs Sept. 30 on VPM PBS.
Last Friday, Michael Paul Williams - the long-time columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch - was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor in journalism, for his “penetrating and insightful columns that led Richmond, a former capital of the Confederacy, through the painful and complicated process of dismantling the city’s monuments to white supremacy.”
Watch “Why This Moment” on VPM PBS Tuesday, November 17 at 10pm.
The community gathered at Maymont Park to experience the world premiere of How the Monuments Came Down, which chronicles the long history of white supremacy and Black resistance in Richmond.
Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, Directors, Producers and Editors. Emmy- winning, married documentary filmmakers based in Richmond, Virginia. They have spent a decade shining light on African American history through character-driven documentaries about history and struggles for justice.
Christy Coleman, Story advisor and cast member. Coleman was CEO of the American Civil War Museum for 12 years, leading a transformation to incorporate Civil War history from Union, Confederate and African American perspectives. She directed the museum’s report and community engagement on the history of Monument Avenue.
Julian Hayter, Story advisor and cast member. Hayter is a historian at the University of Richmond, where he focuses on mid-20th-century voting rights. His courses include “Reimagining Richmond,” a history of the city’s role in the national Black freedom struggle. He received the University’s Distinguished Educator Award in 2018.
Enjoli Moon, story advisor. Moon is founder and creative director of the Afrikana Independent Film Festival, Co-founder of The JXN Project, Assistant Curator of Film at VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art, member of the Public Awareness Committee at The Valentine, and chair of Richmond Region Tourism’s BLK RVA initiative.
Rodney Robinson, Curriculum Writer. In 2019, Robinson was named National Teacher of the Year and 8 of 100 most influential African Americans. A social studies teacher for 19 years, he has spent his career in Richmond Public Schools advocating for vulnerable students. He works with colleges to recruit men of color into teaching.
Joseph Rogers, story advisor and cast member. Rogers is a public historian and is the Education Programs Manager at the American Civil War Museum. An ancestor, James Apostle Fields, escaped slavery and later won election for Delegate in Virginia's General Assembly.