Third-graders from Homer A. Plessy Community School in New Orleans have come up with a multitude of ideas for monuments to replace four Confederate ones that were removed from the city in May 2017.
Prompted by their teacher Aimee Dickerson, and with the aid of the nonprofit organization 826 New Orleans, the kids set about describing their ideas through words and drawings.
826 New Orleans is a local chapter of 826 National which seeks to, “encourage the exploration of endless possibility through the power of writing,” for students ages 6–18.
Ideas ranged from tributes to New Orlean’s favorites like beignets and crawfish to historical figures Solomon Northrup (abolitionist and the primary author of the memoir Twelve Years a Slave) and civil rights activist Ruby Bridges.
After the kids finished the project, their proposals were compiled in an actual book they could keep. Though the project was finished last fall, author Daniel José Older recently caught sight of it during a visit to the non-profit and posted images of some of the book’s pages online where Twitter proceeded to extoll its virtues.
Check out his posts for yourself:
Ayy full story with more info here: These Third-Graders Were Asked What Should Replace Confederate Monuments And Their Ideas Are So Incredibly Cute https://t.co/b6he03GVUx— Daniel José Older (@djolder) July 7, 2018
Twitterers couldn’t get enough:
I'm sure there are enough vacant (or soon-to-be) pedestals needing filling with authentic celebrations of New Orleans culture to accommodate all of these ideas. The Giant Beignet could become the Big Easy's version of Randy's out here!— LA Julian (@LAustyanJulian) July 7, 2018
I ADORE the idea of a Ruby Bridges and/or Houma monument. pic.twitter.com/Ya5FQ2MOLM— Chelsea: Dora Milaje (@IfIWereMagneto) July 7, 2018
I’m thinking the beignet monument should be real beignets that passers-by can grab and eat along their way (they r re-stocked regularly throughout the day).— Nikki Francis (@francnik) July 7, 2018
Some commenters had a hard time choosing:
Maybe the monument should be Ruby Bridges, the Houma people, and an alligator all sitting at a table sharing a heaping plate of Beignets and we can dust the foundation with powdered sugar.— ?maeve’s doppelbot ? (@glasnaut) July 7, 2018
The school and teacher were grateful:
Our students are phenomenal! We are thankful for everyone’s efforts to make this book possible.— Plessy School (@PlessySchool) July 7, 2018
Hi! I'm the teacher of these AMAZING AND WONDERFUL KIDDOS. Thank you so much for tweeting about our book! And thank you everyone for the kind responses! I'm glad y'all love it!— Aimee (@NOLAteacher85) July 7, 2018
This is beautiful and these kids are incredible. Thank you for putting this together. ❤️— Regan Rothery (@ReganRothery) July 7, 2018
The book is titled Courageous, Eccentric, Diverse: New Monuments for New Orleans, and you can order a copy of your very own here.