City Named for Andrew Jackson Will Remove His Statue

Jackson, Miss., mayor says former president was 'brutal owner of enslaved people'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 8:03 AM CDT
City Named for Andrew Jackson Will Remove His Statue
This June 10, 1999, file photo shows the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson in front of Jackson, Miss., City Hall.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Jackson, Miss., has voted to remove a statue of namesake Andrew Jackson from City Hall. City council approved the relocation of the former slave-owning president's statue in a 5-1 vote on Tuesday, reports the Washington Post. "While removing a statue does little to change our condition as oppressed people, we should not have to constantly encounter the likenesses of those who profited off of the blood, sweat, and despair of our ancestors or see them immortalized as honorable," says Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, who is Black. He describes Jackson as "a brutal owner of enslaved people who was instrumental in initiating the Trail of Tears against Indigenous people."

The lone Republican on the council, Ashby Foote, voted against Councilman Kenneth Stokes' proposal, saying "we need to understand our history, not tear it down," per the Clarion Ledger. The bronze statue erected in front of City Hall in 1968 is now likely to end up in a museum. Lumumba says he'd like to see it replaced with one of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who was assassinated in Jackson in 1963. There's no plan to change the city's name, which Lumumba says means "God has shown favor." He hopes residents, 82% of whom are Black, can "reclaim the name of our city for that meaning" as "Black people have reclaimed and repurposed names given to our families by slave owners for centuries," per the Post. (More Jackson, Mississippi stories.)

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