Arts Curator Elissa Blount Moorhead on the Removal of Baltimore's Confederate Monuments | WYPR

Arts Curator Elissa Blount Moorhead on the Removal of Baltimore's Confederate Monuments

Aug 17, 2017

Activists placed the sculpture "Madre de Luz" on the former pedestal for a statue of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
Credit Courtesy of Rollin Hu

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh moved quickly and quietly early Wednesday morning to have the city's four Confederate monuments removed from their pedestals, in response to the weekend violence in Charlottesville and concerns that conflicts over the statues could threaten public safety.  

Tom speaks with filmmaker and arts curator Elissa Blount Moorhead about the mayor's decision. Moorhead is a filmmaker and partner at TNEG Films. She is also an Incubator Fellow at the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film & Media at Johns Hopkins.  She recently directed a short film for Jay Z called 4:44.

In September of 2015, then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed Moorhead and several other people to a commission to make recommendations about what to do with the four monuments. In August 2016, the commission recommended the city remove two of Baltimore's confederate statues— the Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place and the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell. The commission recommended the placement of contextual signage at the two other monuments: the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue and the Confederate Women's Monument on West University Parkway.

This Saturday Aug.19 at 2pm, Dr. Kaye Wise Whitehead will lead a community discussion called The Long Arm of History: Monuments and Statues Really Do Matter at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture