We were there at the right time to see the removal of the Stonewall Jackson monument from Monument Avenue. But will it be the last confederate surrender? I doubt it. We will probably need more.

But what I can tell you as a 13 year old on the 100th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg in 1963, what happened today in Richmond with the removal of the Stonewall Jackson statue and the imminent removal of the Robert E. Lee statue was huge and important for racial healing in this country. When I was 13 the south celebrated the anniversary of Gettysburg not as a defeat, but as a victory in the long battle to retain racial superiority over the black man in the south. I remember that “we” in the south met the southern side in the battle.

Education from Carolina’s fine history department took care of that idea in my head. Then when I taught in Chapel Hill schools “we” meant the north in the Civil War. “We” meant my country the United States of America. I have lived through many significant civil rights moments in my life. A month after the Gettysburg anniversary, Dr. King gave the I have a dream speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We don’t know yet how significant this moment that will be associated with George Floyd will be. But with Mississippi changing its flag and Monument Avenue in Richmond losing its Confederate monuments there is no doubt that progress is being made.

I was so happy to see some of that progress today. Thank you to my two dear Lutheridge friends who took me to Richmond and kept me from falling today as I struggled with my camera to try and take some good pictures.