Residents submit suggestions for African American statue where confederate statue once stood

Residents submit suggestions for African American statue where confederate statue once stood
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Where once stood a confederate statue will soon be a monument of a prominent African American in Alachua County, but the county needs resident’s help finding whose legacy will live on.

The confederate soldier statue that stood on the West Lawn in front of the county administration building until 2017 was controversial for many in the county.

“The confederate statue, some felt like it was historical kind of monument, some felt like it had racial undertones,” Assistant County Manager Gina Peebles said.

Since then, the unidentified statue has been relocated to a private cemetery in Micanopy but the commission has struggled deciding what will replace it.

Related story: Alachua County leaders ask residents whose statue to place on the County Administration Building west lawn

After four years and many proposals, they decided an African American who made a difference in Alachua County would be best fit.

With a 40 thousand dollar budget, Peebles hoped it will educate others.

“I hope it will educate citizens on who this person is and why they made some significant contributions or why Alachua County is today what it is because of everything that the person has contributed to the community,” Peebles added.

They’ve received six submissions so far, including one for TB McPherson, Rita Lawrence, and Josiah T Walls.

“I’m hoping this person is a role model that all of our citizens can look up to them,” Peebles explained. “They would have some sense of wonder and who is that person and hopefully that we do have some information that’s very easily available, maybe right next to the statue that puts it into context and that we understand like who they were and what were their significant contributions.”

The deadline for the 100-word essay submissions are Aug. 31.

You can submit your recommendation by clicking here.

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