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As I write these words on the fire escape of my Manhattan apartment, in early September, 2020, the flashing lights of a cop car blink in my peripheral vision. This is a parked cop car — it has been flashing its lights in place, day and night, for about a month and a half, now.

In the midst of the pandemic, this cop car is there to protect a statue of a white man who, quite frankly, even I did not know the story of until the cops surrounded the statue with crash barriers and started hanging out there. …

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(tweet image shared with permission)

Last night I saw this tweet by Emily Arbelo, an undergraduate student at Cornell University. As of the time of this Medium post, it had been retweeted over 36,000 times, and liked 362,000 times. A quick glance at the more than 600 replies suggest that most are from other undergrads, at Cornell and around the country, expressing outrage that this happened — or sharing stories of similar insensitivity on the part of their own professors.

When I saw the tweet last night, I realized I had things I need to say. …

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What could this image possibly have to do with the post that led you to this link? Read on for one of many answers.

Lest future historians wonder what happened to this link:

Version 1 of this post, published on April 3, 2019, was removed from this link on April 16, 2019.

The primary source on which that post was based was a 69-tweet thread by @intersectionist on March 30, 2019, 8:33am–10:39am, during the National Council on Public History’s Annual Meeting, using the conference hashtag #NCPH2019.

It would appear that several thousand people saw them before they were removed.


Redaction is an interesting tactic.

Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa has done some cool things with turning archival materials effectively made useless by censorship into powerful visual installations.

Like this piece “Secret Memorialis,” which includes heavily redacted documents from both the CIA and the Mexican Dirección Federal de Seguridad, surrounding the October 2, 1968 massacre and repression of hundreds of student protesters, in advance of the Mexico City Olympic Games that we Norteamericanos remember only for the triumphant Black Power salute.


Dr. Lyra D. Monteiro

PhD: Archaeology & the Ancient World, Brown University; Prof: American Studies, History & African American Studies, Rutgers-Newark; Director: The Museum On Site

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