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BLAIR, Carol and MICHEL, Neil

Spring 2000, pages 31-55

Reproducing Civil Rights Tactics: The Rhetorical Performance of the Civil Rights Memorial

Abstract: The authors offer a reading of the Civil Rights Memorial (Maya Lin, Montgomery, Alabama, 1989) as a set of rhetorical performances that reproduce the tactical dimensions of Civil Rights Movement protests of the 1950s and 1960s. Their reading attempts to counter the reading of Abramson who claims for the Memorial a conservative political stance. Specifically, they argue that, while the Memorial reproduces the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement, it argues for a break with the past in its visual proffer of a politics of difference and a critique of whiteness.

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