Remove a Confederate Statue? A Tennessee City Did This Instead. - The New York Times
Oct 24, 2021 2 mins, 13 secs
As Confederate monuments across the South began to come down after a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., he wanted the 37-foot local statue, known as “Chip,” gone, too.

Colored Troops, largely Black regiments that were recruited for the U.S.

The new monument, which was unveiled Saturday before a crowd of hundreds, and five recently added markers tell the story of the market house where enslaved people were auctioned and the role that local Black men played in fighting for their freedom.

Dubbed the Fuller Story, the four-year project led by Mr.

Colored Troops story but this very impactful story of the Black experience during the war,” said Eric Jacobson, a local historian who worked on the project.

The effort began in 2017, in response to the racist violence in Charlottesville, when a white pastor, Kevin Riggs, said at a public gathering that it was time for the local Confederate monument to come down, a proposal that was met with death threats and angry voice mail messages.

Jacobson had an alternative idea: Rather than focusing on removing the Confederate statue, he said, Franklin should share stories of local African Americans relevant to the Civil War.

Colored Troops statue, named “March to Freedom.” The soldier stands with his foot planted on a tree stump and holds a rifle across his knee.

The title refers to the marching of the soldiers before battle but also encompasses the marches that took place throughout the fight for civil rights, said Mr.

About 180,000 Black soldiers fought for the United States during the Civil War.

“But I have never seen a statue of a United States Colored Troops soldier in person.”.

There are several other monuments and a few statues across the country commemorating Black Civil War soldiers, including memorials in Boston; Lexington Park, Md.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Washington D.C.

Lecia Brooks, chief of staff for the Southern Poverty Law Center, commended the Fuller Story, especially in light of Tennessee’s restrictive preservation laws, but said the two statues should not be conflated as offering a balanced view of the war, given the Confederacy’s aim to prolong chattel slavery.

Franklin’s elected leaders, united on the Fuller Story’s approval, remain divided on whether the Confederate statue should be removed.

Any effort to relocate the statue is further complicated by a new agreement between the city and the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which objected to the Fuller Story project’s location and claimed ownership of the land

Williamson said he has received pushback from some Black residents disappointed that the Fuller Story did not go far enough in changing the face of Franklin’s downtown


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