“Ma is in the park”: memory, identity, and the Bethune Memorial

Woodley, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2158-1345, 2017. “Ma is in the park”: memory, identity, and the Bethune Memorial. Journal of American Studies. ISSN 0021-8758

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The Bethune Memorial, in Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Park, was erected to celebrate the life and achievements of civil rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune. When it was dedicated in 1974 it became the first monument to an African American, and the first to a woman, on federal land in the capital. This article interprets the monument and its accompanying discourses. It examines how race and gender are constructed in the memorial, and what this suggests about the creation of a collective memory and identity. Bethune was remembered as an American, a black American, and a black American woman. The article explores the racial and gendered tensions in the commemoration, and how the statue both reinforced and challenged a national American memory.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of American Studies
Creators: Woodley, J.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the British Association for American Studies
Date: 17 May 2017
ISSN: 0021-8758
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 01 Mar 2018 14:13
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2018 14:13
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32844

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