Crowd of people at a vigil around the Davis monument

How The Monuments Came Down

 

How the Monuments Came Down explores Richmond’s complex history through the lens of Confederate monuments, supported by an extensive visual record never before presented in a single work.

In the summer of 2020, demonstrators filled the streets to protest against systemic racism following the murder of George Floyd. How the Monuments Came Down reveals the historic roots of white supremacy and Black resistance in Richmond since the end of the Civil War. Through personal stories from descendants and history-makers, the film uncovers how Confederate monuments came to shape Richmond’s landscape and why protestors demanded they come down.


6 men standing around monument
Black and white men stand in front of and behind the Lee Monument in 1890 before it was installed and unveiled to the public. Image courtesy of The Valentine.

Resources

Curriculum Guide

Guide

How the Monuments Came Down was created with teachers in mind. Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year and a 20-year veteran of Richmond Public Schools, wrote this curriculum guide to maximize the film's usefulness in the classroom.

PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia

The curriculum guide is also accessible via PBS LearningMedia. Show clips of the film in your classroom, and download complementary learning opportunities written by Rodney Robinson.

The JXN Project

Two sisters sit on steps outside

After researching the history of Jackson Ward, two sisters — Enjoli Moon and Dr. Sesha Joi Pritchett-Moon — created the “JXN Project.” It’s a research project that works to accurately show the origin story of Jackson Ward, which has been referred to as the "Harlem of the South."

New American History

Screenshot of Dr. Ed Ayers in the film How the Monuments Came Down

Dr. Ed Ayers, from University of Richmond, is working to connect people to the untold stories of America's past. Ayers is the Executive Director of the New American History project, which uses digital media to tell the story of the nation's past.

REAL Richmond History

Lee Monument in Richmond with 6 people standing on it

Dr. Ma'Asehyahu Isra-UI developed a new elective history class for Richmond Public Schools, highlighting the often overlooked stories for marginalized groups.

On Monument Avenue

aerial view of Lee monument with people gathering around

The American Civil War Museum created "On Monument Avenue," which features an online exhibit and blog series to explore the history of Monument Avenue.

Team Members

one female and one male standing next to one another

Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, Directors, Producers and Editors. Emmy- winning, married documentary filmmakers based in Richmond, Virginia. They have spent a decade shining light on African American history through character-driven documentaries about history and struggles for justice.

headshot of Christy Coleman

Christy Coleman, Story advisor and cast member. Coleman was CEO of the American Civil War Museum for 12 years, leading a transformation to incorporate Civil War history from Union, Confederate and African American perspectives. She directed the museum’s report and community engagement on the history of Monument Avenue.

Man standing outside

Julian Hayter, Story advisor and cast member. Hayter is a historian at the University of Richmond, where he focuses on mid-20th-century voting rights. His courses include “Reimagining Richmond,” a history of the city’s role in the national Black freedom struggle. He received the University’s Distinguished Educator Award in 2018.

Headshot of Enjoli Moon

Enjoli Moon, story advisor. Moon is founder and creative director of the Afrikana Independent Film Festival, Co-founder of The JXN Project, Assistant Curator of Film at VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art, member of the Public Awareness Committee at The Valentine, and chair of Richmond Region Tourism’s BLK RVA initiative.

Man smiling in front of a wall of posters

Rodney Robinson, Curriculum Writer. In 2019, Robinson was named National Teacher of the Year and 8 of 100 most influential African Americans. A social studies teacher for 19 years, he has spent his career in Richmond Public Schools advocating for vulnerable students. He works with colleges to recruit men of color into teaching.

Man standing outside

Joseph Rogers, story advisor and cast member. Rogers is a public historian and is the Education Programs Manager at the American Civil War Museum. An ancestor, James Apostle Fields, escaped slavery and later won election for Delegate in Virginia's General Assembly.

 

  • Todd Waldo, Outreach Producer
  • Chris Salvador, Motion Graphics Designer
  • Osei Essed, Composer
  • Andrew Uvarov, Audio Editor and Mixer
  • Randall Taylor, Jr., Lighting Designer
  • Charlotte Juergens, Archival Producer
  • Blaire Johnson, Cinematographer
  • David Muessig, Cinematographer and Colorist
  • Mason Mills, Executive Producer for VPM
  • Steve Humble, Executive Producer for VPM
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    Poster image for How The Monuments Came Down

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  • Watch

  • Thursday, July 1 at 8:00 p.m. VPM
  • Friday, July 2 at 9:00 p.m. VPM Plus
  • Saturday, July 3 at 10:00 p.m. VPM Plus
  • Sunday, July 4 at 2:00 p.m. VPM PBS
  • Sunday, July 4 at 9:00 p.m. VPM Plus
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