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John Edwin Mason

John Edwin Mason teaches African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia. In 2016, he served as vice chair of the City of Charlottesville’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces, which recommended that the city should either remove or transform and contextualize its statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He spent the summer of 2017 as writer-in-residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (New York), working on a book about the photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks.



August 24, 2017

It’s an odd thing, seeing your town become a hashtag. By the evening of August 12, 2017, millions of social media users, in the United States and around the world, recognized #Charlottesville as a metonym for violence and death. None of us expected it. But, then, very few of us expected to spend that Saturday night on the verge of tears or openly weeping or simply in shock.