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Between Remembrance and RepairCommemorating Racial Violence in Philadelphia, Mississippi$
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Claire Whitlinger

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469656335

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469656335.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

The Transformative Capacity of Commemorating Racial Violence

The Transformative Capacity of Commemorating Racial Violence

Comparing the 1989 and 2004 Commemorations

(p.132) 6 The Transformative Capacity of Commemorating Racial Violence
Between Remembrance and Repair

Claire Whitlinger

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the differences between the 1989 and 2004 commemorations to identify the factors that were pre-sent in 2004—but not in 1989— that enabled the 2004 commemoration to have transformative commemorative outcomes. Most notably, the chapter suggests that the environment’s capacity to commemorate was more developed in 2004 than in 1989, as a number of historic, educational, and civil society organizations had developed in the succeeding years. This structural context enhanced the mnemonic capacity of locals to organize a commemoration and to pursue additional reparative efforts related to the state’s racial history. Beyond these structural factors, this chapter suggests that the 2004 commemoration resonated more deeply with target audiences and generated a collective identity and commitment to mnemonic activism among local organizers.

Keywords:   civil society, collective identity, commemoration, commemorative outcomes, mnemonic capacity, mnemonic activism, racial violence, resonance, social change

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