Mitch Landrieu: A White Southerner Confronts History

This is an edited recording of New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu speaking at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference in 2019. When Landrieu addressed the people of his city in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve throughout the nation—his brave and inspirational speech has now been heard by millions.

As he described that experience in his powerful memoir In the Shadow of Statues—and as he tells it here—Mayor Landrieu’s relationship to the question of race in America is deeply personal and complicated, and begins for him with his own family’s history, and the history of the city of his birth.