Alabama Park Could Lose Confederate Statue

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

For 110 years, a monument to Confederate veterans has stood in Linn Park in Birmingham, Alabama. It could be taken down soon if the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board has its way.

During a meeting on July 1, the board unanimously voted to remove the monument, WBRC reported. The measure requires that a city attorney research the issue and report back to the board, although a timeline for the removal has not been established.

The resolution was proposed by board member Bernard Kincaid, a former Birmingham mayor. 

"The tenor of times has changed in America and in Birmingham," Kincaid said, reports The Huntsville-Times. Although the monument was erected by the Pelham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the chapter no longer exists. Kincaid suggested seeking other chapters to see if they are interested in taking possession of the statue.

The issue was initially raised by activist Frank Matthews following the racially motivated murders of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in June. Matthews thanked the board members for their action on the issue and their willingness to re-home the statue. 

"I don't appreciate that history, but I can respect that history," he said.

Matthews noted that the park is named for Charles Linn, an early Birmingham civic leader, who also served in the Confederate navy. Though he wouldn’t rally to change the name because of Linn’s contribution to Birmingham overshadowed his military career, he decried the statue. 

"But that monument with knives and swords on it, it's very offensive," Matthews said.

Sources: The Huntsville-Times, WBRC

Image via WBRC