History cannot be erased, but it can be learned from

Published 9:22 am Monday, March 5, 2018

We can’t erase history. We can only better explain and hope to learn from it.

That’s why the effort by Ole Miss to explain and contextualize moments and named buildings on campus is far more valuable than any effort to eradicate the past and its imprint.

Last week, the University unveiled six additional history and context plaques that do a good job of better explaining the Ole Miss’ history as well as the people behind it and decisions involved in it.

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Such efforts rise to the calling of higher education, with a mission of providing broad opportunity by opening minds and doors.

Moments and building names from the past have been quite the controversial across the U.S. in the past couple of years. We have seen monuments hauled off and hasty decisions made in the name of short-term salve over long-term sensibility.

We know that our past is not always easy to confront but we can only learn from the past if we understand what happened and use those situations, injustices and causes as a guide what not to do in the future.

Historical context presented in a modern light and accurate explanations of past people, places and events will help us all learn.