Very soon I'm going to be posting a paper I'm writing with Judson Crump about a freedom suit in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the 1820s. Much to talk about there and how this fits with the work that legal historians such as Melvin Ely, Kirt von Daacke, and Martha Jones are doing now on free people's access to the southern courts. But right now I want to talk about race in the twentieth century. Yesterday I saw a war memorial in Warren County, North Carolina. Warrenton is rapidly becoming one of my favorite spots in North Carolina.
Close readers of the faculty lounge may recall that I was floored by Governor Romney's speech accepting the Republican nomination back in 2012. He spoke about monuments:
Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.
Since I write about monuments,monument law, and the constitutional significance of monuments, I was super excited to hear this talk of monuments from a presidential candidate. But I thought that I'd seen some segregated monuments. And over time I've been collecting examples of monuments that are segregated. Back in May I posted an image of a segregated monument in Yanceyville, North Carolina, which is in front of the late antebellum Caswell County Courthouse. And now I have another one from Warrenton, North Carolina. (You'll probably have to click on the image to see this well.) I'm not sure when this monument was put up, but I'm going to say that it's a safe bet sometime after August 1945.