The Mary Turner Project
mary turner historical marker
Heritage, Hate, or Fear?
A Community Forum on Southern Symbols

On Monday, September 28th 2009 the Mary Turner Project organized and hosted "Heritage, Hate, or Fear? A Community Discussion About Southern Symbols and Their Meaning." It was attended by more than 150 students, faculty, and local community members. This public forum was an effort to provide scholarly information and dialog with the community about the history and contemporary use of the Confederate flag. It was organized in response to local fraternaties using the symbol on and near the Valdosta State University campus. Below are just a few questions that were explored at that forum.


A brief history of the Confederate flag...(from Civil War and Southern History Scholar Dr. David Williams).

Does multiculturalism include Southerners? (a question posed by a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to Dr. Calvin Walker)

How does the Confederate flag affect Valdosta State University?

Why are Southern symbols seen as racist when racism existed in the North As well?

What does the use of Southern symbols say about the state of racism?

What are students trying to communicate by displaying the Confederate flag?

What does the Confederate flag mean to different generations?

Does the meaning of words change depending on the race of the person that uses them?

When does free speech become hate speech?

How can students graduate from college without knowing their region's history?