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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

Commemoration Is a Constant Struggle

Commemoration Is a Constant Struggle

(p.168) 8 Commemoration Is a Constant Struggle
Between Remembrance and Repair

Claire Whitlinger

University of North Carolina Press

Readers may be familiar with Civil Rights Movement adage: “freedom is a constant struggle.” This concluding chapter demonstrates how commemoration is a constant struggle, highlighting the decades-long efforts to institutionalize the collective memory of racial violence in the United States. Thus, this chapter argues that attention to commemorative outcomes should be a critical concern of collective memory research, concerns that have remained largely unexplored. The chapter further suggests that it is most advantageous to conceptualize commemorations and memory movements as iterative, a feedback loop in which movements produce commemorations and commemorations produce movements. It then highlights the process of commemorating difficult pasts, arguing that the meso-level interactional dynamics such as intergroup contact shape possibilities for commemorative outcomes. In this way, the social psychology of racial identity and intergroup contact provide important insights for local memory activists and racial reconciliation practitioners more broadly.

Keywords:   Civil Rights Movement, collective memory, commemorative outcomes, intergroup contact, memory activists, memory movement, racial identity, racial reconciliation, racial violence, social psychology

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