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Days 4, 5 and 6 of the Jan. 6 committee hearings will be repeated Saturday, July 2, at 10 a.m. on Jax PBS More! (7.4 and Comcast 212).
First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

2/21/2017: Confederate Monuments; Ndaba Mandela; Jacksonville Science Festival


 Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the prevalence of Confederate monuments in Jacksonville with historian Wayne Woods, activist Chevara Orrin and Jacksonville Magazine editor Joe White. The magazine recently published an article on the monuments. We spoke with Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, and we talked about this weekend’s Jacksonville Science Fair with Nadia Hionides of the Foundation Academy; Ashli Archer, academic director at Florida State College Jacksonville Eddie Whisler, director of the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium and School at the Museum of Science and History; and Jessica Santiago, founder of the Wall Street Art Gallery and Art (Re)public. 


Confederate monuments

They are scattered throughout the city. From the memorial  in Hemming Park, to the Yellow Bluff Fort on the Northside — there are statues and monuments to the Confederacy scattered throughout the First Coast. . But for African-American residents, who make up more than 30 percent of Jacksonville’s population, continuing to honor the Confederacy and its association with slavery, is an ongoing affront. Cities across the South — and even in Northern areas — have grappled with the tangled legacy of Confederate monuments and memorials, and some have been removed or torn down. The panel discussed the monuments but also other ways to honor Jacksonville’s history.  

Ndaba Mandela

Mandela is co-founder of  Africa Rising, a global foundation promoting a positive vision of Africa. He spoke about how most Americans know little about Africa and that several nations like South Africa have a strong and vital economy.  

Mandela was the guest speaker presenting, “From Prisoner to President: The Mandela Legacy Lives On,” at University of North Florida 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Luncheon on Tuesday.

Jacksonville Science Festival

It’s a celebration of the world of STEAM or science, technology, engineering, art and math. The festival is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the FSCJ South Campus on Beach Road, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at Metropolitan Park. The festival will feature projects that use collaborations with teachers, experts, mentors and local businesses.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.