Aug. 7 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Race in America: The Historical Monuments Debate

Nationwide demonstrations over police brutality have renewed the debate over how we memorialize America’s past. Monuments, statues, and the names of schools, streets and military bases across the country that honor Confederate leaders and those connected with slavery and oppression have increasingly become a flash point. On Friday, Aug. 7 at 12:00 p.m. ET, Washington Post Live speaks with former mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu about his 2017 decision to remove Confederate monuments and what his experience can tell us about the current debate. He will be joined by New Orleans native and world-renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, whom Landrieu credits with challenging him and compelling a reckoning regarding his view of the statues.
Mitch Landrieu
Former mayor of New Orleans
Mitch Landrieu is an American politician, lawyer, author, speaker, nonprofit leader and CNN political commentator. He served as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans (2010-2018). Landrieu gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, which also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting the issue of race and institutional racism that still plagues America. He recently launched E Pluribus Unum, an initiative in the South created to fulfill America’s promise of justice and opportunity for all by breaking down the barriers that divide us by race and class. Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Wynton Marsalis
Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and world-renowned trumpeter and composer
Wynton Marsalis is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and a world-renowned trumpeter and composer. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, Marsalis began his classical training on trumpet at age 12, entered The Juilliard School at age 17, and then joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and has since recorded more than 60 jazz and classical recordings, which have won him nine GRAMMY Awards. In 1983 he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz GRAMMYs in the same year and repeated this feat in 1984. Marsalis is also an internationally respected teacher and spokesman for music education, and has received honorary doctorates from dozens of U.S. universities and colleges. He has written six books; his most recent are Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!, illustrated by Paul Rogers and published by Candlewick Press in 2012, and Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life with Geoffrey C. Ward, published by Random House in 2008. In 1997 Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2001 he was appointed Messenger of Peace by Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and he has also been designated cultural ambassador to the United States of America by the U.S. State Department through their CultureConnect program. Marsalis was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center. The event raised more than $3 million for the Higher Ground Relief Fund to benefit the musicians, music industry-related enterprises, and other individuals and entities from the areas in Greater New Orleans who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Marsalis helped lead the effort to construct Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home - Frederick P. Rose Hall - the first education, performance, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz, which opened in October 2004.
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.