There are a number of museums that tell those stories spread across Alabama, but the Confederate Memorial Park is different. It is the only museum in the state that has a dedicated revenue stream codified in the state’s constitution. So while other museums struggle to keep their doors open, search for grants for funding and depend on volunteer staff, the Confederate Memorial Park is flush with cash. In 2020 alone, the park received $670,000 in taxpayer dollars. That’s about $22 per visitor and more than five times the $4 admission price for adults.
There are scattered mentions of slavery throughout the displays, but for the most part, the museum focuses on the story of Confederate soldiers on the battlefield, mostly highlighting the bravery they displayed and the principles they were fighting for. The exhibit quotes Confederates like E.S. Dargan, who said: “If the relation of master and slave be dissolved, and our slaves turned loose amongst us without restraint, they would either be destroyed by our own hands — the hands to which they look with confidence, for protection — or we ourselves would become demoralized and degraded.”
MOUNTAIN CREEK, Ala. – Down a country road, past a collection of ramshackle mobile homes, sits a 102-acre “shrine to the honor of Alabama’s citizens of the Confederacy.” The state’s Confederate Memorial Park is a sprawling complex, home to a small museum and two well-manicured cemeteries with neat rows of headstones – that look a lot like those in Arlington National Cemetery – for hundreds of Confederate veterans.
The CDC now recommends that people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after an initial 2-dose series. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Visit CDC’s webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html to learn more about who should get a booster shot.
As the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to rise, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance on face masks.
The CDC recommends that people, regardless of their vaccination status, wear a face mask in certain indoor situations where there is a risk of “substantial and high transmission” of COVID-19. This includes schools, retail stores, and some businesses.
This comes as California becomes the first U.S. state to mandate regular COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated teachers as their state data shows a rising 22% new cases per week.
While health disparities leave African Americans vulnerable to COVID-19 at higher rates, our research shows that 51% of African Americans say they are fully vaccinated, and 54% continue to wear masks in public and private settings.
Click to Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You
While we continue to learn more about the coronavirus and its delta and lambda variants, the NAACP’s COVID. Know More portal has information and resources you need to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Visit the website today, and fight back with facts.
Remember, if one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable.
In light of recent national and local conversations and controversy regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT), NAACP-Culpeper would like to offer support, guidance, and clarity to our community. Below you will find information regarding CRT as well as teaching practices that are centered on equity.
What is CRT?
CRT is an academic framework that examines the impact of systemic racism on American society. It is not taught in K-12 schools because it is not developmentally appropriate to do so; it is used in fields of professional and academic research. Some of the underpinning assumptions of CRT, however, can already be found in curricula in many schools. In recent months, CRT has become a catch-all term for school programs (teacher education, curriculum, and more) that focus on anti-racist practices, social justice, and/or diversity and equity.
Is CRT new?
No. CRT became widely read and used beginning in the 1970s in legal research. The practices that are being inaccurately described as CRT (anti-racist education, for example) are also not new. Classroom conversations that include discussions about race and racism are also not new (although it is important to note that this is not CRT). In fact, even early childhood curricula have included discussions about skin color and racial identity for many decades. Since race is a part of people’s identities (just like where they were born or what holidays they celebrate or how their families are structured), conversations about race happen all the time in schools. Additionally, it is easy to find examples of discussions about race that occur in history or English classes for older students, since studies about history and English are studies about individuals and groups of people. When you study people, you also will encounter issues of race and equity. It is incredibly difficult (not to mention bad practice), for example, to teach the American Civil War without discussing race.
So what does teaching for equity look like?
Some of the objections to CRT can be more accurately described as objections to teaching for equity (which can include social justice education, culturally relevant teaching, anti-racist teaching, and more-these are different from each other but overlap in important ways). Teaching for equity includes: ensuring that all students’ identities are welcomed and celebrated; providing instructional materials that reflect a wide variety of perspectives (including various racial identities); a curriculum that is high-level, accessible to all students and emphasizes critical thinking; and ongoing teacher learning so that educators are reflecting on their practices in a continual way.
In a classroom, this looks like a library of books and resources that include lots of different kinds of characters. It can also be a classroom rich in discussion about current events so kids have ample opportunity to practice critical thinking and discourse. It may also be a history unit that includes several primary resources from different demographic groups, so that students may consider multiple perspectives. In a primary classroom, it may look like a read aloud about a community much like theirs, a rural one, but in an entirely different part of the world. It can also look like a guest speaker coming to share how their family celebrates a holiday unfamiliar to most of the students in the class.
Does teaching for equity teach Black, Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial children to feel victimized?
No. Many families are concerned about this-no one wants children to feel dis-empowered or victimized. When multiple perspectives are presented, however, children of color are more likely to find themselves in the learning, which leads to a deeper and more rigorous educational experience. Classrooms in which students are welcomed to bring their full identities to the community, including their racial identities, are more likely to be classrooms in which students feel safe and known. This also leads to greater and deeper learning.
Does it teach White children to feel guilty?
No. This is a concern of many parents of White children, and understandably so. No one wants their children to feel guilty or upset, including teachers who teach for equity; that’s not the goal. Teaching about the history of race and racism should empower students to make the world better and more equitable. Slavery and Jim Crow, for example, are painful parts of our history, but students need to understand how these came about and how the lingering effects of them are still apparent today so that they may be empowered to ensure that we continue to work toward equity for all. Including multiple voices when studying periods of history or when reading literature also asks students to consider new ideas and perspectives. Moreover, asking students to engage in critical discourse prepares them to be active citizens of their community, both now and when they are grown.
Is teaching about race and racism indoctrination?
No. Presenting students with resources that reflect multiple perspectives means that students are learning to look critically at historical events, literature, media and more. All of us want our students to think critically and independently…that’s what this kind of teaching supports. It teaches children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.
Does NAACP-Culpeper support CRT in our K-12 schools?
No-CRT is for higher ed, not K-12! We DO, however, support teaching for equity, which is often inaccurately conflated with CRT. We know that structural racism exists-the data is unequivocal on this. We also know that education is one area of our society where we simply cannot ignore opportunity gaps. Every child deserves a high-quality, rigorous education that pushes them to reach their full potential. Currently, not all students have these opportunities; students of color, especially Black students, continue to achieve at much lower levels than their White peers in Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock counties. There are significant gaps between White and Black/Hispanic students’ reading levels, math achievement, graduation rates, and participation in gifted education programs and AP programs.
Teaching for equity supports the closing of these gaps. Research shows that a positive school climate where all students feel welcomed and valued leads to higher achievement for all children (students of color as well as White students), as does rigorous, high-level instructional programming. Teaching for equity IS high-quality, rigorous education because it engages students in higher-level thinking that encourages them to consider multiple perspectives. It also affirms and welcomes the identities of all students in a classroom, not just those in the racial majority.
As a civil rights organization, we will continue to fight for this every single day. Education IS a civil right.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com . You are also invited to attend our NAACP general membership meetings, held over zoom the third Thursday each month.
NAACP-Culpeper Education Committee
Dr. Laurel Blackmon, Chair
When Charleston fell and Confederate troops evacuated the badly damaged city, those freed from enslavement remained. One of the first things those emancipated men and women did was to give the fallen Union prisoners a proper burial. They exhumed the mass grave and reinterred the bodies in a new cemetery with a tall whitewashed fence inscribed with the words: “Martyrs of the Race Course.”
And then on May 1, 1865, something even more extraordinary happened. According to two reports that Blight found in The New York Tribune and The Charleston Courier, a crowd of 10,000 people, mostly freed slaves with some white missionaries, staged a parade around the race track. Three thousand Black schoolchildren carried bouquets of flowers and sang “John Brown’s Body.” Members of the famed 54th Massachusetts and other Black Union regiments were in attendance and performed double-time marches. Black ministers recited verses from the Bible.
It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place. Often, after a new hashtag begins trending on social media, a variety of tweets and posts speaking out against anti-Blackness and anti-Black violence soon follow. Which, I suppose, is fine, but very few extend far beyond their comfort zone in their advocacy efforts. This is not to say that allyship in any form is not helpful, but it’s time to start being clear about what is needed and what ultimately perpetuates White supremacy and further insulates White guilt. Let’s be honest: to combat anti-Blackness in America, we don’t need allies. We need abolitionists.
While following the Derek Chauvin trial, I’ve noticed one common theme that also struck me immediately following the gruesome killing of George Floyd – White people speaking out against racism after the fact. It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place.
Protests rage once again in Minneapolis after another Black man, Daunte Wright, was killed by police, and a newly released video from Virginia shows a Black Army lieutenant in uniform getting pepper-sprayed by police.
The Culpeper Branch #7058 stands in solidarity with the Isle of Wight Chapter and the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP in calling on Governor Ralph Northam to call a special legislative session to pass HB2045 sponsored by Del. Jeff Bourne. Local, state and federal officials must properly investigate this matter to the fullest extent, and propose a Plan of Action for the Town of Windsor and the Commonwealth of Virginia to immediately act on.
The Black Lives Matter movement is a force. It’s been unapologetic about who it represents and has been doing the work to point out the many racial injustices that African Americans face in the land of the (kinda) free. Eight years have passed since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Since then, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbury, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and a litany of other Black Americans have fallen to racial violence. The BLM movement, which started as a hashtag in 2013, sheds light on all those killings. It forces America to sit in its savagery.
The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Alicia Garza, will be in conversation with Zora editor-in-chief Vanessa De Luca. March is Women’s History Month, but this coming together of two Black titans would be special anytime, anywhere. Find out what it took to organize the most important civil rights movement of the 21st century. And listen to what it truly means to go past a hashtag on social media.
The Culpeper branch of the NAACP holds its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are currently meeting at Antioch Baptist Church at 202 S. West Street, Culpeper, 22701. All are welcome; you do not have to be a member to attend.