Into 'My Body is a Monument'

In the debate over Confederate monuments, one writer says the virtue of her existence is a monument in and of itself.

About this episode:

In recent weeks, the debate over monuments, street names and other relics of the Confederacy has intensified. A statue of Jefferson Davis was pulled down in Richmond, Virginia. In Louisville, Kentucky, a monument depicting a Confederate officer was removed from the city square. And on Tuesday, Mississippi decided to remove the Confederate symbol from the state flag.

There are those who argue that tearing these statues down erases our history. And others who say they must come down if we hope to create meaningful systemic change.

Caroline Randall Williams is a poet and writer in residence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. And in a recent New York Times opinion piece she makes a different argument for why these monuments must come down.

“My body is a monument,” she writes. “My skin is a monument.”

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Caroline Randall Williams about the sexual violence that has left a legacy of the Confederacy in her blood, and about why it’s time for the monuments to come down.

Find the transcript here.

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