Jerome Meadows, Truths that Rise from the Roots Remembered, 1995, Alexandria, Virginia. Photo by Renée Ater

Welcome to Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past. This database includes monuments from the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, West Africa, and Europe. As of now, the database contains 115 monuments (three-dimensional objects). We continue to add and update the Omeka site as we learn of new monuments. You can find monuments through the search bar at the top of the page or by selecting the "Items" button. We have also organized monuments into fifteen collections, which include the following:

  • African American History
  • Cemeteries and Memorial Parks
  • Emancipation Monuments
  • Frederick Douglass Monuments
  • Harriet Tubman Monuments
  • Monuments to Resistance
  • Slavery Monuments in Africa
  • Slavery Monuments in Europe
  • Slavery Monuments in Mexico, Central America, and South America
  • Slavery Monuments in the Caribbean
  • Sojourner Truth Monuments
  • Transatlantic Trade and Middle Passage Monuments
  • Underground Railroad Monuments
  • Universities and Slavery Monuments
  • United States Colored Troop (USCT) Monuments

We are still debating whether or not to include museums such as the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England; the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC; and the Mémorial ACTe in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. In many ways, these sites and buildings function as monuments. Stay tuned.

We have temporarily paused exhibits about groups of objects on the site. In the upcoming months, we will rethink how we want to tell the story of these objects. However, you can explore a section entitled "Focused Essays" under the "Exhibits" button. Here, you will find short essays on sculpture, materials, and process as well as several thematic essays. We will continue to add to this section in the coming months.

The essays include:

  • What is sculpture?
  • What is a monument?
  • What are the parts of a monument?
  • What are the terms related to sculpture and monuments?
  • What are the materials of sculpture and monuments?
  • What is the difference between modeling, carving, casting, and assembling?
  • What is the difference between figurative and abstract sculpture?
  • What is representation?
  • How are contemporary artists rethinking monuments?
We are thrilled to learn that some of you are using the database in your classes and in assignments. Keep it up and let us know how students are engaging the material. If you have questions about an item or wish to use a photograph from the database, please contact Renée Ater at renee_ater@brown.edu

Note: Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past is a monument database. If you are looking for historical markers, visit The Historical Marker Database.

Renée Ater and Grace Yasumura