Document Type



Recent events surrounding Confederate statues and monuments reveals a serious problem in the way people of differing political beliefs contend with controversial issues. In this manuscript, the author provides steps and resources to utilize Confederate monuments and memorials as a method of developing student political identity through historical thinking. The article demonstrates student examination of primary and secondary resources relating to the motivation for more than 1700 Confederate monuments that are constructed throughout the Southern United States. They use a mural found within the courthouse of a major city in Alabama created in the 1930’s that critics argue is veneration of the Antebellum period that emphasizes racial hierarchy and division. Learners will articulate the motivation and points of view of the people who embrace the monument, and they will use graphic art to supply African American points of view regarding the Antebellum period. Finally, students will construct a new memorial as a faux historical document that is designed to foster dialogue concerning history in the midst of deep disagreement about it. The steps of the activity are designed to provide the platform from which to develop student political identities regarding Confederate monuments and offers a better option to rhetoric that fuels much of today’s contentious conversation about controversial issues.