3. The Impact of Charlottesville on Monument Avenue

Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally
Monument Ave Jeb Stuart
Monument avenue richmond virgina

Dublin Core


3. The Impact of Charlottesville on Monument Avenue


On August 12, 2017, the “Unite the Right” rally was held by white supremacists and white nationalists in Charlottesville to protest against the removal of a confederate statue. There were counter protests and it ended in violence. It was televised and it left a stain in the US, including Monument Avenue in Richmond. Mayor Levar Stoney spoke about Charlottesville and Monument Avenue, “Let me be clear: we will not tolerate allowing these statues and their history to be used as a pretext for hate and violence, or to allow our city to be threatened by white supremacists and neo-Nazi thugs. We will protect our city and keep our residents safe.” In the Monument Avenue Commission Report (MAC) of July 2018, Richmond already had plans to remove all the confederate monuments before Charlottesville and created the MAC. Charlottesville gave Mayor Stoney and MAC more urgency to remove those monuments as stated in his response to the rally. The “Unite the Right” rally caused the MAC to have a public forum in August 2017 and over 500 people attended. Discussing a year after the incident, ABC News journalist Meghan Keneally, interviewed Richmond residents and the protests impact on them and the city.

As of July 10, 2021, the city of Charlottesville, Va., removed the statues of confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson who were major symbols of the deadly Unite the Right rally.  Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker said, “Taking down this statue is on small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Va., and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain.” [1] Charlottesville’s statues of Lee and Jackson were erected in the 1920’s celebrated with ceremonies including Confederate veteran reunions.  Their erection coincided with the agenda of the South to validate the Confederacy and suppress Black communities.[2] Following the Unite the Right rally city and public response, on August 20, 2017, the city council voted to shroud both Lee and Jackson status in black.[3] Following the city councils’ decision, and prior to subsequent removal, both statutes were vandalized repeatedly often with politically motivated graffiti. 


"Mayor Stoney's Full Statement on Monument Avenue." Richmond Times-Dispatch. August 16, 2017. https://richmond.com/news/local/mayor-stoneys-full-statement-on-monument-avenue/article_a6cd40c3-60ea-5209-81be-dcd9f87d98d2.html.

"2018 Monument Avenue Commission Report." July 02, 2018. https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/richmond.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/8d/98dfbab1-3a10-52d4-ab47-f4a2d9550084/5b3a9346537e5.pdf.pdf.

Keneally, Meghan. ABC News. August 03, 2018. https://abcnews.go.com/US/richmond-addressing-debate-confederate-monuments-year-charlottesville/story?id=57009869.

“Charlottesville Removes Robert E. Lee Statue That Sparked A Deadly Rally” Ben Paviour. NPR. July 10, 2021. https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/npr/2021/07/10/1014926659/charlottesville-removes-robert-e-lee-statue-that-sparked-a-deadly-rally/

"Charlottesville's Confederate statues shrouded in black". fox5ny.com. August 24, 2017.


Melanie Vigil and Max Bezanilla




HIST 402A Fall 2020 and Fall 2021


Richmond, Virgina