Confederate Statue in Richmond, Virginia

Conviction inspires monumental movements

University of Richmond professor Julian Hayter is influencing the conversation on Confederate monuments — shedding light on their history and discussing their ramifications for the future.

In Richmond, Virginia, where five prominent Confederate monuments line Monument Avenue, Julian Hayter finds himself at the heart of one of our nation’s most public debates. But Hayter has never shied away from raising his voice. To him, the statues that line Monument Avenue are much more than metal, they’re an embodiment of racial inequality and a history of segregation.

Hayter believes that these monuments are hallmarks of what he calls the Lost Cause — the Confederate attempt to reframe the Civil War as fighting for states’ rights, while omitting slavery’s role.

All these years later, the Civil War, in many ways, is still contested ground.

—Julian Hayter

He also states that a common misperception about these monuments is that they were erected during or immediately following the war. In reality, the majority of these monuments were built in the 20th century, an attempt to further disenfranchise African-Americans.

To Hayter, the debate on Confederate monuments is not just a trending topic, it’s an ongoing conversation about the rights of African-Americans and racial equality in America. And it’s a conversation he is helping to lead.


Dr. Julian Hayter is associate professor of leadership studies in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. He’s a historian whose research focuses on modern U.S. history, American political development, African-American history, and the American civil rights movement.

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