Following the murder of George Floyd in May, cities not only in the United States but also in Europe erupted in demonstrations challenging police violence and racist legacies.
In the United Kingdom, activists removed a statue of Edward Colston, a notorious slave-trader, and threw it in Bristol Harbor. In the United States, activists projected Black Lives Matter and other images onto the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Richmond, Virginia. In France, President Emmanuel Macron tried to stave off similar movements by preemptively declaring that the Republic would "erase no trace or names of its history, it will forget none of its works, it will tear down none of its statues.”
This discussion brings together two experts on race and memory to compare, contrast and analyze these movements, as part of a further reflection on the meaning of race in contemporary Europe. Ana Lucia Araujo, author of Slavery in the Age of Memory: Engaging the Past, and Mame Fatou Niang, co-director of Mariannes Noires, will engage in a discussion with CES Resident Faculty Mary D. Lewis.
(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) – A statue of Belgium's King Leopold II is smeared with red paint and graffiti in Brussels, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. With the protests sweeping across the world in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, King Leopold II is now increasingly seen as a stain on the nation as demonstrators demand he disappear from public view and authorities take heed. Statues of the late king have been defaced in at least a half dozen cities across Belgium.
With the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States