The Civil War ended in 1865. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate army general and the primary Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, died in 1877. But a bust made in his likeness was installed in a park in Selma, Alabama, in 2000, days after the inauguration of the primary Black mayor of a city known for its vital role within the civil rights movement.
Down Along With That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning With Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy by means of Connor Towne O’Neill examines Forrest’s life and how people still are looking for to hold his legacy through monuments, homes and markers bearing his name. When Pennsylvania-raised O’Neill first arrived in Alabama, he didn’t suppose he had any connection to the Confederacy. But as he began to look at not only Forrest’s life but additionally his lasting influence, O’Neill acknowledged, “I can reject every guideline of the Confederacy and but the reality remains that, in combating to hold white supremacy, Forrest sought to perpetuate a machine tilted in my favor. Forrest fought for me.”
Though O’Neill doesn’t cross too deep into his very own experience, sharing his inner monologue serves as an invitation for white readers to likewise study the approaches they have got benefited from systems built by means of and within the hobby of white humans. Along the way, O’Neill offers all readers a lens thru which to look at their relationship to the past.
The monuments O’Neill writes about were erected lengthy after Forrest’s death. In this way, the Confederacy isn’t just history. It’s a basis for how our present-day society functions. In recounting the methods Nathan Bedford Forrest’s legacy suggests up in modern life, Down Along With That Devil’s Bones points to the oppression these monuments are looking for to hold. This book is a well-researched history and a call for reformation in America.