SURF

Ivan Chavez

Contested Memory and the Racialization of Monuments in the United States

The status of monuments depicting white colonialism has been highly debated for years, with some historians stating that they should remain while others ask for their removal. Although these monuments have been contested since their creation, the Black Lives Matter movement has become an avenue for immediate change. In response, artists put up contemporary monuments that highlight racial injustice throughout the world. However, within the Black Lives Matter movement, both these contested statues as well as the newly placed, contemporary pieces of art are toppled or destroyed. This research project will look into the context of both these old and contemporary Bay Area monuments/murals, which includes the reason for their placement and the reception upon their placement. Then, it will look into their destruction, and the sentiments tied to these actions. By doing so, this research will find where the United States stands when it comes to racial injustice in the 21st century, based on its attitudes towards monuments, both old and new.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you CACSSF for providing the SURF stipend that has given me the opportunity to conduct research I would’ve never even dreamed of achieving. I grew as a scholar and as a person by learning how to navigate archival data on my own, and learning how to ask for help from my mentor when needed. This experience has helped shape my future plans by really encouraging me to think about my future with research, specifically as a graduate student. This fellowship also helped shape me as a person, as I was able to lose some stage fright that I had since I was a child. Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to grow through my research.
  • Major: History
  • Sponsor: CACSSF
  • Mentor: Pablo Gonzalez