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W&M African-American Interests
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Tribal Offline
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W&M African-American Interests
A finalized design for the Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved by W&M was presented to the Board of Visitors Tuesday.

When completed, the memorial and surrounding area will reimagine an important entrance to the university’s Historic Campus.

https://t.co/X7kNe3R3IQ

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08-26-2020 05:50 AM
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nogretheogre Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
Kinda blocky/blobby. I wish it was taller/monolithic and not so squat/thick in one dimension.

I believe it will be located here.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.27006...m0!1m0!3e2

Seems like they plan to dismantle part of the Wren wall and place the memorial as a gateway through the wall.

[Image: memorial-111-set1.jpg]

[Image: memorial-222-set.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 08-26-2020 08:18 AM by nogretheogre.)
08-26-2020 07:40 AM
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NC Tribe Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
Why not a statue?

This design doesn't fit with the design of the current wall, too "modern and square" not rounded like the current wall. Who would guess that it has anything to do with enslaved people?

If statues of slave owners bother folks so much, why not put in a statue of enslaved people building a wall of one of the structures actually made by slaves? Put a hole in the Wren wall and have a statue depicting the dress and physical characteristics of the slaves who built the wall? Then at the bottom of the plaque explaining the statue lists the names of the slaves, or if this isn't possible, list the names of the first African American graduates of the College and perhaps mention the amount of scholarship money or endowed scholarships that go to African American students.
08-26-2020 07:57 AM
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mrjoolius Online
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W&M African-American Memorial
Looks like the initial design has evolved. The original design was to be hint at a hearth which was an important part of colonial slave culture. It also included raised bricks with the W&M slave names inscribed.
https://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2019/con...m-mary.php

This newer version still looks like it wants to hint at a hearth, but has changed into more of a arched gateway. Can't tell if the slave names are still incorporated. My guess is they are. I agree, the "blockiness" stands out a bit from the surroundings. But, if the goal is to hint at a colonial hearth, rounded soft edges may not fit with that.

I think it will look really nice in person and be an attractive addition to the historic section of campus.
08-26-2020 08:27 AM
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nogretheogre Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
Might have become more blocky as they researched and found quite a large number of slaves owned by the College. If they inscribe the names of all, might have needed more space resulting in squaring off the design...wish they used another option. The original seemed to have a more sloping and tapered edge, which was much more attractive and quite a bit more reminiscent of a hearth.

[Image: memorial-set1.jpg]
08-26-2020 08:33 AM
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Tribe32 Online
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
Looks like a place where people could speak and congregate. Looks good to me.
08-26-2020 08:55 AM
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
I like the idea behind it a lot, but the actual aesthetic of it doesn't fit super well into campus. Though maybe that's the point, gets you to notice it
08-26-2020 09:19 AM
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zablenoise Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
(08-26-2020 07:57 AM)NC Tribe Wrote:  Why not a statue?

This design doesn't fit with the design of the current wall, too "modern and square" not rounded like the current wall. Who would guess that it has anything to do with enslaved people?

So I mostly agree with you. I'm not a huge fan of this memorial and generally prefer something more traditional like a statue. But I've heard the argument that the memorial is supposed to be something that's a "living space" and something you can spend time with. I can definitely see students coming here to study or meet or friends or just quietly reflect. I hope they keep the fire lit inside the memorial at all times as a sort of "eternal flame" as I think that will be quite powerful. Really my biggest issue is that it doesn't match the Georgian architecture of the surrounding buildings but I have to think that's intentional.
08-26-2020 11:25 AM
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tribetime10 Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
(08-26-2020 11:25 AM)zablenoise Wrote:  
(08-26-2020 07:57 AM)NC Tribe Wrote:  Why not a statue?

This design doesn't fit with the design of the current wall, too "modern and square" not rounded like the current wall. Who would guess that it has anything to do with enslaved people?

So I mostly agree with you. I'm not a huge fan of this memorial and generally prefer something more traditional like a statue. But I've heard the argument that the memorial is supposed to be something that's a "living space" and something you can spend time with. I can definitely see students coming here to study or meet or friends or just quietly reflect. I hope they keep the fire lit inside the memorial at all times as a sort of "eternal flame" as I think that will be quite powerful. Really my biggest issue is that it doesn't match the Georgian architecture of the surrounding buildings but I have to think that's intentional.

I love it. I think it's a great addition and very glad it is in a prominent place on campus. The placement near admissions is a great opportunity for us to tell the story of W&M.

The architecture will stand out--as it should. If you just walk past it and think its just another structure, it has missed the mark.

Looking forward to seeing it on campus.
08-26-2020 12:16 PM
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zablenoise Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
(08-26-2020 12:16 PM)tribetime10 Wrote:  I love it. I think it's a great addition and very glad it is in a prominent place on campus. The placement near admissions is a great opportunity for us to tell the story of W&M.

The architecture will stand out--as it should. If you just walk past it and think its just another structure, it has missed the mark.

Looking forward to seeing it on campus.

Yeah. I strongly think we shouldn't let perfect be the enemy of good here. Just simply putting up the monument is more meaningful to me than what it will eventually look like.

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08-26-2020 12:48 PM
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Tribe32 Online
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
Unless you are going to put up a statue of a group of nameless individuals (like Iwo Jima) who represent something, I think the memorial is the right way to go.
08-26-2020 01:08 PM
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TribeFan1983 Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
(08-26-2020 01:08 PM)Tribe32 Wrote:  Unless you are going to put up a statue of a group of nameless individuals (like Iwo Jima) who represent something, I think the memorial is the right way to go.

I think a statue of nameless individuals is the way to go. Here's one proposed in London:
https://www.timeout.com/london/news/camp...ark-061120
08-26-2020 02:23 PM
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Tribe32 Online
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
My comment was "unless...". I don't know enough about how the slaves lived at the college and what tasks they did, but if it could be historically represented in a statue, it would be cool. I like the statue from London.
08-26-2020 02:47 PM
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soccerguy315 Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
I hope it will fit into campus well. It looks somewhat out of scale / place in the renderings, but I trust the final will look good and be a worthy memorial. This is one of the things I donated to this year for one tribe one day.

I think it would be interesting to see what it would look like if the current wall went all the way to the side of the memorial so there was no space to walk around.
08-26-2020 03:02 PM
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bubbadog57 Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
I like it very much....also feature story on it in today's Washington Post with photo and very good reviews from the newspaper.
It's simplicity and starkness are formidable.
08-26-2020 03:20 PM
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Tribal Offline
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W&M African-American Memorial
I read this monument will cost in the neighborhood of $2mil. Is that correct?

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09-04-2020 02:14 PM
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
I read the alumni comments on Facebook regarding the memorial.
Lots of criticism of the design.
I've read it looks like a building to house public bathrooms or a building to house an HVAC system.
I think the memorial designed for UVA is much more attractive and fits the surrounding landscape.
I hope they make some major modifications to this thing. Once you build it,
you can't go back. Think of some of our ugly buildings from the 1960s.
Maybe we could also save some bucks with a new design.
09-04-2020 02:24 PM
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mrjoolius Online
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W&M African-American Memorial
My only thoughts are
A) people don't like/ are nervous about change and the unknown.
B) you will never make everyone happy. Especially in today's climate of outrage over everything.

This wasn't a slapped together design without forethought. There are many and diverse hands involved in the process.
(This post was last modified: 09-04-2020 02:40 PM by mrjoolius.)
09-04-2020 02:39 PM
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DSL Offline
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RE: W&M African-American Memorial
It just occurred to me that on the rear portico of the Wren, there are several
plaques/tablets describing the history of W&M.
Why not add another plaque on this wall with the slavery history.
Put it right there along with our other history thus giving it some equal recognition.
They could get a really big plaque/tablet for thousands of dollars and not millions.

I never thought of this idea before, but I sure do like it. They didn't ask me to serve on the committee.

Unfortunately, I'm sure there's too much momentum behind the current design.
09-04-2020 02:47 PM
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Tribal Offline
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W&M African-American Memorial
Is it costing us $2mil?

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09-04-2020 03:05 PM
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