Remove Confederate Statues from Cheapside
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What we're after:
1. Remove the Statues
2. Bring Back the Plaque
3. Open up dialogue to make the space more inclusive for everyone
Currently, there are two confederate statues located at Cheapside, one of John Hunt Morgan and another of John C. Breckenridge, both slaveholders and defenders of the institution of slavery. That our city was filled with confederate soldiers, statesmen and sympathizers during the Civil War is not something we wish to forget, but neither do we wish to celebrate it.
In 2015, the John Hunt Morgan statue was vandalized, as was a marker recounting the history of slavery in Fayette County and the role Cheapside played in that history. Around the same time, a white supremacist murdered nine African Americans in Charleston, SC. Concerned, city officials asked the Urban County Arts Review Board's guidance regarding the statues, the marker and Cheapside Park. Citizens also voiced their opinions. The Arts Review Board recommended the statues be moved and the space re-imagined with new art more representative of our city's full and complicated history.
City officials declined the board's recommendations. The confederate statues still stand at Cheapside Park. The marker that speaks of slavery does not.
While city officials say they will revisit the issue once construction on the courthouse is complete, we feel this delay is both negligent and unnecessary. It is imperative to remember and reckon with our city's whole history now. For far too long, the experiences, memories and traumas of enslaved people have been kept hidden. We seek their revelation.
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