#3: Sources Say…

I’ve had a lot of ideas about sources for my topic.

Obviously I want to interview students who wear the Confederate flag, and black students that have to endure the symbol.

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to interview Rajni Evens about his experience performing a poem about racial injustice at our school with an audience member sporting the flag.

I also want to contact the local news channel, WCAX, and hopefully gain access to footage of the Black Lives Matter protest and the subsequent display of the Confederate flag.

I talked to my school’s Director of Guidance, Preston Randall, about my idea, and he told me that another potential interview source would be Kathy Johnson, a leader of the Anti-Defamation League. According to Dr. Randall, Johnson started the BFA chapter of A World Of Difference in response to the Confederate flag’s presence in Vermont and the “Take Back Vermont” campaign of 2000, that sought to reverse the marriage rights of gays and lesbians, but also fight the changing demographics of the state against the Democratic, affluent “flatlanders”.

I also learned from a 2015 Newsmax poll that 1/3 of Vermonters think the federal government should allow the Confederate flag to be flown. The same article goes on to explain the correlation between Vermonters who strongly support permissive gun laws and don the Confederate flag.

Lastly, Mr. Gevalt suggested that I read Robin MacArthur’s Half Wild, that houses a short story that examines racial attitudes in Vermont, and I’ve ordered it on Amazon.

My questions are:

  1. How do I expand this idea to include the whole state, while maintaining my thesis?
  2. Is there any hard evidence that can explain the phenomena of the Confederate flag in Vermont? How can I find it?

 

Citations

Venturo, Sophia “Preston Randall on the Confederate Flag in Vermont”. 26 Sept. 2017.

Shaw, Jerry. “Where You Can Find Confederate Flag Flying in Vermont.” Newsmax.com, 2 Sept. 2015, www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/673279. Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.

“Take Back Vermont.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Mar. 2017, en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Back_Vermont. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Featured image is by Alden Pellett

Sophia Venturo

5 Responses to “#3: Sources Say…

  • Hi Sophie,
    I noticed that your sources are primarily interviews – what a great way to find first hand information and also to ask follow-up questions! One question for you to ponder is, do you think it would be important to interview other students at your school who do not wear the flag and see what their thoughts are on the matter?
    I hope this helps!
    Sydney

    • Sydney!
      Thanks for your comment. At first I was opposed to this idea, and wanted the focus to be concentrated on the flag and its targets, but you got me thinking: would interviewing other students better demonstrate the bystander effect and show the level of complicity in the school population?
      Thanks!!

  • Hi Sophie,
    I think it’s great that you have a large supply of information on your topic. An idea I had is that you should also ask your teachers/ principal why they allow a symbol with an offensive and racist history such as the confederate flag to be worn in school. Another thing that I was wondering is how will kids respond to the interviews? Will the people that wear the confederate flag be open with expressing their opinions?
    Thank you for your post,
    -Alex

    • Hey, Alex!
      Thanks for the feedback. My theory is that the school allows the Confederate flag because it is viewed as an exercise of freedom of speech. I’m looking into the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District to further understand what kind of speech is allowed in schools, and whether or not the Confederate flag violates its ruling.

      I’m also wondering what students will say in interviews! As for the flag wearers, I’m expecting a wide range of answers including anything from a “History not Heritage” schpeel, to just speechless discomfort. I’m sure hoping that they express their opinions!!

  • Ceci Lewis
    3 years ago

    Sophie,
    I am intrigued with your topic and the ways in which you are going about finding sources for issue. I wonder how others consider the issue of the Confederate Flag and what it might symbolize to them. whenI was reading your entry, I was reminded of a friend of mine’s experience as a Black teacher in New Jersey. The school in which she taught was majority Black and every year they started the semester off by singing the Black National Anthem. Her final year of teaching she realized that many of her Black students weren’t singing the song because they didn’t know it. Many of her students did not have the Black American experience because they were newly immigrated, or their families were newly immigrated by one or two generations. I wonder if they have the same feeling about the Confederate Flag as many Blacks whose ancestry includes slavery in the U.S.? What do you think?
    Ceci

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