Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – Lawsuit Filed Over Century-Old Confederate Statue in the Majority-Black City of Tuskegee, Alabama

Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

Lawsuit Filed Over Century-Old Confederate Statue in the Majority-Black City of Tuskegee, Alabama

By J.L. Cook, TheRoot.com

To invoke the spirit of chaos theorist Ian Malcolm, when these racist monuments gotta go, they gotta go.

A recently-filed lawsuit could result in the removal of a Confederate statue that has taken up space in the mostly-Black city of Tuskegee, Ala. for over 100 years.

Macon County officials covered the base of a Confederate statue, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Tuskegee, Ala., after it was vandalized with spray-painted obscenities. The Alabama county is seeking to remove the statue that sits in a town square.
Photo: Kim Chandler (AP)

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Macon County Commission and three Black residents argues that the land where the statue currently stands was illegally given to the United Daughters of the Confederacy by county officials in 1906. Per the AP, records show that the land was provided to the Confederate group to use as a park for white people.

This impending legal battle comes during a time when various monuments erected in honor of Confederate figures have either been removed or have been the center of legal battles to have them removed–like the saga behind those rusty and dusty Robert E. Lee statues in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va.

More from the AP:

The statue has been the subject of periodic demonstrations for decades in Tuskegee, which is almost all Black and the home of Tuskegee University. The nation’s first Black military pilots trained in the city during World War II.

Protesters tried and failed to pull down the monument in the 1960s, and it has been the target of vandals and community opposition for years. In July, City Council member Johnny Ford and another man used an electric saw to cut into the statue, but the damage was later repaired by a crew hired by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

WSFA-TV reports that both the Tuskegee chapter and Alabama division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy are defendants in the suit. Fred Gray, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said they have been working to find out who the members of the Tuskegee chapter of the group are.

So far, only one member has been located, according to the NBC affiliate.

Read the full article here.

Learn more about statue removal as part of our Special News Series – Rising Up for Justice! here and here.

More Breaking News here.

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