Charlotte Libraries Tackle Controversial Topic

Beyond the Myths: The American Civil War in History and Memory


  • Beth Scarborough University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Susan Foster Pardue University of North Carolina Charlotte



academic libraries, Library Programming, collaboration, public libraries, social justice



UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library, along with the History Department and Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library, in response to violence, hatred and killings in both South Carolina and Virginia in 2015 and 2017, and contentious arguments over the presence of Confederate monuments, particularly on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill, proposed a series of public forums to address the controversy. With funds from the UNC Charlotte Chancellor’s Diversity Fund, plans were made to sponsor a total of five programs, each addressing a way to combat long-held myths and deliver truths about North Carolina’s history during the Confederacy. This series of programs, Beyond the Myths: The American Civil War in History and Memory, held in February and March 2019, took place on the main and downtown campuses of UNC Charlotte and at the Sugar Creek Branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library. The planning and delivery of the series, marketing efforts and follow-up are detailed in this article.



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