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Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (2015)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2015-07-22

Duration: 00:56:03

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Confederate States of America | Monuments | Civil War | History | Slavery


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Mann, Bob Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Connelly, Kelly Producer
  • Gramling, Paul Interviewee
  • Foster, Gaines Interviewee
  • Thompson, Lloyd Interviewee
  • Rogers, Ashley Interviewee
  • Joiner, Gary Interviewee
  • Boyd, Kevin Speaker
  • Taylor, Thomas Speaker
  • Samuels, Albert Speaker
  • Jarreau, Randy Speaker
  • Plummer, Joyce Speaker
  • Miller, Bettsie Speaker
  • McLarty, Stoney Speaker
  • Peters, Jacob Speaker
  • Martin, Andrew Speaker
  • Carroll, Tim Shea Speaker
  • West, Christopher Porche Speaker
  • Branson, Taryn Speaker
  • Bester, Alfreda Tillman Panelist
  • Hyde, Samuel Panelist
  • Diamond, Raymond Panelist
  • Upton, Mark Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from July 22, 2015, features Bob Mann leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on whether Confederate monuments belong in front of public buildings. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Paul Gramling of the Sons of Confederate Veterans; Dr. Gaines Foster, a history professor at LSU; Lloyd Thompson, the president of the Shreveport chapter of the NAACP; Ashley Rogers, the director of operations at Whitney Plantation; and Dr. Gary Joiner, a history professor at LSU-Shreveport. The audience members discuss: their view of Confederate monuments; whether monuments should be changed to incorporate other viewpoints; the causes of the Civil War; and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposal to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Circle. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Alfreda Tillman Bester, the general counsel for the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP; Dr. Samuel Hyde, the director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University; Raymond Diamond, a professor at the LSU Law Center; and Mark Upton, the chairman of the board for the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. They discuss: the message that Confederate monuments send to the public; the symbolism of the Confederate battle flag; the different perspectives on the history of the Civil War; their stance on moving Confederate monuments; how schools teach students about slavery; and the need to expand the way we look at history. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Bob Mann