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Museum Displays Exiled Statue
News Bytes 08/20/2020 27 Comments

A Houston museum dedicated to African-American culture will display a more than 100-year-old Confederate statue on its grounds. Officials say the move provides black Americans a way to confront slavery’s painful legacy and embrace their own experiences.

City workers removed the towering bronze statue called “Spirit of the Confederacy” from a downtown Houston park in June. The statue has been in storage since then.

John Guess, Jr., is CEO emeritus of the Houston Museum of African American Culture. “There is a need for our folks to heal. The way you get rid of the pain is to not bury it as if it had never existed, but to confront it and engage with it,” he says. “This allows our community to do this.”

The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the 12-foot statue in 1908. It depicts a winged male figure holding palm tree foliage and a sword. An inscription below the statue reads: “To all heroes of the South who fought for the principles of states’ rights.”

Many Confederate sympathizers argue that the Civil War was fought to establish states’ rights. But most historians say slavery was the root cause of the war.

“We now have a chance to dialogue with that history and say something about it. Know this was really about slavery,” Guess says. “And we have an image that our community can consistently speak to, especially during times like now.”

In recent months, many Confederate symbols and monuments have been damaged or brought down by demonstrators or removed by local authorities. God instructs Christians to “give no offense” (1 Corinthians 10:32), and such removals can be part of obeying that command.

Guess believes the museum is the first African American institution in the country to house a Confederate monument. Other Confederate statues have been removed from public view and housed at museums or other facilities.

The “Spirit of the Confederacy” statue will be displayed in a courtyard. New fencing has been built around the statue so it cannot be seen from the street. People will be able to view it online or make an appointment to see it from behind a window. Museum officials say people will be able to see the statue up close from the courtyard at a later date.

The statue sits facing a collection of eye sculptures by Bert Long Jr., a black Houston artist.

“The eyes of black America are staring at this statue, at this philosophy. We are having a standoff,” Guess says.

Not everyone is thrilled about the new statue at the museum. Guess understands people’s concerns. But he says, “We don’t get past that pain and get to healing without at times confronting them.”

(John Guess, Jr., talks about the bronze statue “The Spirit of the Confederacy” on display at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, Tuesday, August 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

I think that this is a good idea. And I like what Guess said. It is perfectly true. We can't just bury our fear, we have to confront and get it over with. The people need to heal. Also, did anyone notice what the mask said! :) ;)

YESSSSS!!! FINALLY PEOPLE ARE

YESSSSS!!! FINALLY PEOPLE ARE LISTENING!!!! I'm a libritarian, so I believe in states rights, so yeah, I think the government was controlling then and is controlling now. Yes it was wrong of people to enslave human beings, but read outside of your school textbooks, and you'll see that the south was displeased at the way the government was treating them. Anyway, I am so glad that they are not destroying these statues, and instead putting them in museums. And that was really brave and amazing for that museum to take that statue as a part of black people's history, and America's history, and I'm so happy that some people are not destroying these painful but true parts of our past.

Riley D

Yes, I did. I love that, and It's makes me so sad to think that after so many years, we still treat people like that. Sigh, I wish our world wasn't filled with so much hate, but I guess that's what happens when the world is under Satan's grasp (for now) ; )

Really?

It was NOT about slavery, it was that the goverment at the time, was not caring for the confederate states. It is kinda like the clone wars in star wars, The sepertists seaprated for that same reason, but all the republic and the jedi saw, were evil sith. Even though the sepertists were the right people. People want it to be about slavery, but that, I happen to know that Lincon had not talked to anyone about the emancipation of proclomation, he was debating about it. I do think it was a problem people were aware of, But it was not the cause of the end of slavery, in fact, slavery lives on to this day, it is disguised, and insidius, but still exits, for instance in china.

Matthew N

THANK YOU!!! Everyone keeps saying how amazing he was, but he was probably one of our worst presidents. And your right, slavery does still exist. People only seem to care about three rights; civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights. I am not joking. Those are the top three. I understand that racism is still a thing, and women are still kinda treated terribly, and gay rights? Well, you shouldn't fire someone just because they're attracted to the same gender. But what I'm trying to say is, there are WAY worse things happening to people around the world. What I really think people should start looking at one of the worst things in the world in my opinion: sexual assault. It has been going on since the bible times. And we seem to do so little!!! I think it is awful, and that nobody helps these people is just... un humanly cruel. I hope sometime people will be louder and braver about this, and that people will stop covering it up when it happens.

@Matthew N

YESSS!!!! Well said! I love The Clone Wars! Do you? Star Wars is definitely not just a dumb kid show, it's actually really deep.

@ Evelyn and Matthew

I love Clone Wars too! I've only watched the first season, plus a few episodes, but I'm loving it!

Star Wars

I've watched all six seasons of the Clone Wars,but not seven yet

this is Mylee

The mask was funny. This museum sounds cool. Also yes some people are still treated wrong , but here in America we treat everyone equal. Women are treated equal Carys M. Also Abraham Lincoln was an amazing man He abolished slavery. Obama or Clinton was the worst in my opinion.

My oppinion + CLone wars comments

I do think that Abraham Lincon was a Good President, although I am confused why he is our best President, but Maybe it was he never lied (?) I have watched every single season of Clone Wars twice, I own a few technical books on it, and Analize it as a Adult show, I cried during the 7th season tbh. it is like watching Order 66 all over again for the first time. I do think if the sith were not controling both sides, that the Sepritists would have won, the had control of the Banks, they had a cheap, dispensible army, and did not have to worry about the logistics of Food, water, clothes, rest, and pay, so their army fought for free, and at a low cost. Most people (Excluding those who are either in the millitary or know alot about it) don't know how hard it is to hire troops, clothe them, train them, feed them, water them, and PAY them, it is EXPENSIVE, like, for one day, of hiring one PMC (Private Military Contractor) It is $17,000! FOR ONE DAY, ONE soldier. They also had the advantage of expendability, they did not have to worry about every single life under their control, they had infinite (as long as they had recources) soldiers, the clone army needed 8 years to fully train, and grow a Clone. A droid can be made in under 30 mins.

This is good!!

YESSSS!!! People need to forgive!! You don't have to forget just forgive!!! People need to heal!!!

@Matthew N

I think Abe Lincoln was the best pres. because he freed the slaves. In my opinion Trump is next!!! Trump 2020!!!!!!!!

Anyone on here also on YWW?

Anyone on here also on YWW?

I don't think that Abraham

I don't think that Abraham Lincoln was anywhere close to being the worst president. It all depends on the point of view.

Have any of you watched

Have any of you watched Amadeus? It's a great movie! It's about the rise and fall of Mozart. There is one part which is inappropriate.

@Beth H

What is YWW???

YWW

Young Writer's Workshop (YWW) is a community full of young aspiring writers that all have a goal and are all working at it. How YWW works is that there are teaching videos and articles that answer questions commonly asked by young writers.

YWW

Young Writer's Workshop (YWW) is a community full of young aspiring writers that all have a goal and are all working at it. How YWW works is that there are teaching videos and articles that answer questions commonly asked by young writers.

@ Beth H and @ Matthew N

THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting me know about this! I'm a creative writer and this sounds really cool! I should check it out!

I do think

I do think that Abraham was a great president, that's just my opinion, I agree with you, Alaina H, that it depends on the POV (point of view)

@Matthew N, KN, and Treion H

What is your favorite season and character of Clone Wars. (if you have one :P)

@ Evelyn

Well, I'm only on the second season, so I don't really have a favorite season, but my favorite character....I don't know yet. ;-)

My fav Character

Rex/Asoka

Yes!

I am a HUGE Star Wars/Marvel fan! My favorite person(in Star Wars) would have to be Asoka Tano, I also think that it is really cool what they are doing with this statue.

Oh and...

I also have watched every clone wars episode.

@Matthew N, Addison L, and KN

Mine is probably Anakin and Ahsoka. But I really like Rex and Fives too! There is so many good characters! The only two that I really don't like are Clovis and General Krell. What about you guys, do you like them?

@People who think that Clone Wars is better than Star Wars

A New Hope is much better

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