Remove the Robert E. Lee monument in Roanoke City and replace it with a lynching memorial

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It is past time for us to remove a monument that memorializes the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. Roanoke City should show its citizens of color that this is not a history that we want to commemorate.

As collective awareness grows that these sort of monuments were constructed to send an anti-civil rights message to the community, it has become clear that we need to send a new message today.

We propose that this monument be replaced with a memorial to the Black victims of lynching in Roanoke in the late 1800s.

"William Lavender and Thomas Smith were two black men who were lynched on separate occasions by white mobs in Roanoke. Both men were accused of assaults on white women that were never proved. Neither man stood trial. They were simply captured, beaten, hanged and murdered." - The Roanoke Times.

This piece of our history has been unrecognized and we must reckon with it. This is one simple step we can all take towards building a community in which every citizen can begin to feel equally valued, regardless of their skin color.