Down Along With That Devil’s Bones by Connor Towne O’Neill

ESSENTIAL ANTIRACIST READING “We can now not see ourselves as minor spectators or weary watchers of history a­fter completing this magnificent paintings of nonfiction.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy   In Down Along with That Devil’s Bones, journalist Connor Towne O’Neill takes a deep dive into American records, exposing the still-raging battles over monuments dedicated to considered one of the maximum notorious Confederate generals, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Through the lens of those conflicts, O’Neill examines the legacy of white supremacy in America, in a sobering and captivating paintings positive to resonate with readers of Tony Horwitz, Timothy B. Tyson, and Robin DiAngelo.   When O’Neill first moved to Alabama, as a white Northerner, he felt extremely eliminated from the racism Confederate monuments represented. Then someday in Selma, he stumbled throughout a group of citizens shielding a monument to Forrest, the officer who became the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and whom William Tecumseh Sherman noted as “that devil.” O’Neill sets off to go to other disputed memorials to Forrest across the South, talking with women and men who believe they may be protective their heritage, and people who’ve a one of a kind view of the man’s poisonous history.   O’Neill’s reporting and thoughtful, deeply non-public analysis make it clear that white supremacy isn’t a regional affliction but is in reality coded into the DNA of the whole country. Down Along with That Devil’s Bones presents an important and eye-starting account of ways we got from Appomattox to Charlottesville, and where, if we can honestly apprehend and transcend our past, we can be headed next.


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.


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