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Focus On...

Focus On: Confederate Monuments

A conversation to examine questions about the place and purpose of these memorials today.

Produced several times each year to take an in-depth look at current affairs impacting the people of North Carolina, The Focus On... series is part of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina's ongoing commitment to providing timely coverage of public affairs issues affecting the state.

Join a discussion led by our host Deborah Holt Noel and WFAE's Mike Collins about the fate of North Carolina's Civil War Memorials.

Focus on: Confederate Monuments, which will be recorded at the UNC‐TV Public Media North Carolina studios in Research Triangle Park on Monday, November 13, aired on Collins’ Charlotte Talks show on WFAE FM Wednesday, November 15, at 9 AM.

The special will premiere on the UNC-TV PBS & More Channel, and stream online at unctv.org, Wednesday, November 15, at 8 PM.

Since recent events in Charlottesville, VA, and around the country, our nation has been engaged in a tug of war over the presence of Confederate monuments in our communities. At the heart of the controversy are critical questions about history, free speech and laws governing public space, art and memorials. With an invited audience representing various perspectives, UNC‐TV Public Media North Carolina presents Focus on: Confederate Monuments. Hosted by PMNC’s Deborah Holt Noel and WFAE FM’s Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins, this conversation examines questions about the place, purpose and relevance of these memorials today.

The show will examine the history of Confederate monuments across North Carolina, events leading up to today’s debates over the monuments and approaches to informing history and policy going forward. Invited guests (subject to change) include:
  • William Sturkey, PhD Assistant Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill Department of History
  • Brenda Tindal Historian, Levine Museum of the New South Staff
  • Frank Powell Spokesperson, NC Sons of Confederate Veterans
  • Adam Lovelady Assistant Professor, Public Law & Government at UNC School of Government
  • Gary Pendleton, Former District 49 State Representative
  • Timothy Tyson Senior Research Scholar at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Visiting Professor of American Christianity & Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School, American Studies Adjunct Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of The Blood of Emmett Till and Blood Done Sign My Name
  • Harry Watson Atlanta Alumni Distinguished Professor of Southern Culture at UNC-Chapel Hill Department of History, former member of the NC Historical Commission
  • Bree Newsome Community organizer/activist from Charlotte who was arrested for removing the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia
  • Matthew Champagne NC State University Historians for a Better Future
  • Malinda Lowery Director at UNC-Chapel Hill Center for the Study of the American South
  • Michelle Brown/Maya Little UNC-Chapel Hill students involved with efforts to remove the statue of "Silent Sam" from its McCorkle Place location

Additionally, some audience members, comprised of student and community group members, as well as area media representatives, will question the panelists.