“Active racism, exclusion, and environmental injustice have systematically destroyed or buried whole sections of Black history. Many of those who gripe about ‘erasing history’ of Confederate monuments and other symbols in the South have no idea how much history has already been erased.”
A new chapter of The Atlantic’s “Inheritance” series, a multiyear project on American history, Black life, and the resilience of memory, pieces together this erased history by returning to the spaces and places “Where Memories Live.” Each of the reports and essays in this chapter, including a piece published today by the historian William Sturkey, quoted above, show how these places are often filled with the ghosts of events past, and people who remember what others who are further removed may easily forget.
“Inheritance” is underwritten by Salesforce. In the coming months, through a partnership rooted in support for this monumental journalism project, Salesforce is endeavoring to illuminate stories about Black history and ancestry in new and novel ways.
“‘Inheritance’ is a project about national memory that reflects on what we remember and how we remember it. Our work also attempts to shed light on the history and memories that remain buried, waiting to be surfaced,” managing editor Gillian White said. “Place is an incredibly powerful entry point to telling those stories and exploring how memory, individual and collective, is built, sustained, and passed down.”