LEAH WILLING HAM Associated Press / Report for America Greenwood, Mississippi (AP) — For more than a century, one of Mississippi’s most elaborate Confederate monuments is a county in the heart of Greenwood, a black majority city with a history of civil rights movements and conflicts. I overlooked the lawn of the government building. ..
LEAH WILLING HAM Associated Press / Report for America
Greenwood, Mississippi (AP) — For more than a century, one of Mississippi’s most elaborate Confederate monuments is a county in the heart of Greenwood, a black majority city with a history of civil rights movements and conflicts. I overlooked the lawn of the government building. .. Protesters demonstrated at the base of a towering pillar of six Confederate figures. National racial calculation, Others who insist on the protection of the statue as part of history.
After years of debate, a new statue will be built on Greenwood. One of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black man who was brutally beaten and shot by a white man 10 miles from the city in 1955.Portrait of Till still dead Under federal investigationIs one of the few African-American statues in Mississippi, dotted with dozens of federal monuments in courthouses, town squares, and other prominent locations.
Greenwood is one of the hundreds of cities and towns across the country addressing painful and expensive questions. What should we do with these compliments to the Civil War and the Confederate soldiers who fought there? And what monument should go up to that place to represent the community?
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Throughout Mississippi, multiple locations have voted to remove the monument. A few people who followed found it expensive on a $ 1 million bill. University of Mississippi.. In Charlottesville, Virginia The appearance of General Robert E. Lee Recently added to the cart — about 4 years later Deadly racist rally there. Dozens of Confederate statues have fallen nationwide During the 2020 protests George Floyd’s death — Many are in the center of the city, closer to liberal.
But far fewer cities are planning new compliments and monuments instead.
In Greenwood, as in many places, change is slow.
In June 2020, the Leflore County Oversight Board resolved to remove the statue built by the Allied Daughters Union of the Valina Jefferson Davis Branch in 1913. The board, of which four of the five members are black, has stipulated that the monument should not be replaced with any part of the civil rights movement.
The vote followed a long-standing debate about what to do with the monument after black public school teachers and their fathers Troy Brown Jr. and Troy Brown Senior began calling for removal in 2017. The county initially considered leaving federal statues and buildings. A lawn civil rights monument for “balance”.
However, members of the community have asked for removal. Blackboard members voted 4-0 to remove the statue. One white member did not attend the meeting. He told a local newspaper that he would have voted to maintain the statue.
Member Robert Collins said the statue didn’t bother him, but if it caused pain to others, it should go. He voiced in his opinion that another monument should not replace it, regardless of meaning or intent.
“The court belongs to the people of Le Flore County. If you intend to remove the monument, don’t put it on the land,” he said.
Still, the statue was standing, the bureaucracy slowed the process, and there was no concrete removal plan.
Board members did not return the Associated Press phone inquiring about the update. A spokesman for the Mississippi Archives and History Department said a county lawyer had consulted in November, but officials have not been contacted by her since.
In April, Greenwood Democratic Senator David Jordan rekindled conversations about the city’s Till statue of 13,500 people. He is one of the last living locals to participate in Till’s murderer trial.
Till was visiting a relative of Mississippi from Chicago. He whistled 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant at a grocery store and was accused of making sexual progress. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, JW Miram, were struck by a gun and kidnapped Till from his great uncle’s house.
Till’s brutal body was later pulled from the Tallahatchie River. The Tallahatchie River is the same river that claimed the Union star, the Union merchant ship, during the Civil War 90 years ago. The ship is commemorated by the Greenwood monument and the pilot wheels are etched on one side.
Senator Jordan recommends building a Till statue in front of a court of dogs for black residents attempting to vote in a city where racist civil councils maintain regional headquarters. He said it was good punishment.
“If we can show that change can happen here, it can happen anywhere,” Jordan said.
But the board wasn’t upset. Collins said in April that allowing Till statues in court would be a “double standard.”
“To move one statue to make another does not represent all the people I am supposed to represent,” Black Collins said during the meeting.
Jordan was injured because the Confederate statue had not sprouted either.
“Let’s leave the statue of Emmett Till there for 100 years,” he said. “Then it will be balanced.”
Finally, at the end of last month, the council unanimously agreed to build a statue of Till instead of the courthouse. Instead, the statue goes up to a park half a mile away.
Jordan decided to be optimistic about the location. The park is located on a railroad track that once separated the places where black and white residents lived and worked in racist Greenwood. He wants the statue to unite the community.
So far, the inhabitants on both sides of the problem are dissatisfied with the progress.
Larry McCluni said he considers the statue a homage to Confederate soldiers who died in battle. He also supports the Till statue, even in the courthouse, as long as the Confederate statue stands.
“The same is true if I go out to the graveyard and defeat one of my family’s gravestones,” said a Confederate veteran, an organization for the male descendants of 30,000 Confederate veterans. Said McCloonie, the commander-in-chief of his son. member. “That’s how people feel about these things. You’re removing the only thing I can go as a member of the family and remember my ancestors.”
Brown Sr., who petitioned for removal, said Greenwood needed to show what that meant.
“I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk about the Confederates, but you shouldn’t celebrate the Confederates in the sense that the statue overlooks the city,” Brown said. “That boy’s life-it’s a story worth telling.”
Leah Willingham is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America Is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues.
Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
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