Birmingham has made national headlines over the past week following the removal of a confederate monument in Linn Park. The City of Birmingham has shared a fund that will be used for the building of a new monument that represents Birmingham’s future. Get all the details here!
In case you missed it:
On Sunday, May 31, a crowd in Linn Park protesting the murder of George Floyd attempted to topple a confederate monument. In response, Mayor Randall Woodfin asked the protestors to give him 24 hours to find a legal means of removing the statue.
True to his word, Mayor Woodfin brought in a crane to dismantle the monument on the night of June 1. The crew safely removed the main obelisk, with the remaining base of the monument to follow later in the week.
Read more here about the history of the monument and Birmingham’s years-long attempt at getting it removed.
National publications took notice.
The removal of the monument turned heads towards Birmingham from all over the country. Here are a few of the publications in which the events were mentioned.
1. The Today Show
If you’re a fan of The Today Show, you may have seen a familiar face this week. Our very own Mayor Woodfin made an appearance to discuss his decision to move forward with removing the monument in Linn Park.
“As elected officials, it’s important to note the art of protest, the art of civil disobedience—you need negotiations between those on the front line and elected officials.
It’s important for me to listen to them, hear them, understand, empathize with their issues, but at the same time guard and protect the city.”Mayor Woodfin
2. The Washington Post
The Washington Post included Birmingham in a roundup of the biggest protests and demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd.
“But as protests for racial justice overtook the city this week, Woodfin said it was time for the obelisk to come down — even if doing so could violate a state law.”The Washington Post
In this interview, Mayor Woodfin weighed in on Birmingham’s history and why citizens wanted the monument in Linn Park removed.
“I’m experiencing some civil unrest in my city, and the center of that civil unrest started not just from the death of George Floyd, but the symbolism of this statue.”Mayor Woodfin
What are the next steps?
On Tuesday, June 2, the City of Birmingham tweeted out a link to a new fund. “Monumental” is a city-sanctioned fund that will re-envision a new monument in Linn Park.
“Join us in support of Mayor Randall Woodfin and the City of Birmingham to re-envision a new monument in Linn Park—one that represents a vision for an inclusive future, symbolizes the reclamation of our moral authority as a national leader for justice and equity, and to crystallize this moment in our history.”Monumental
They’ve set a goal of $100,000, and you can help them meet it by donating here.
Who’s behind the fund?
The fund is being organized by The Collective. This initiative of The Penny Foundation is designed to promote social justice and equity solutions in Birmingham.
The Penny Foundation was named for The Penny Savings Bank, the first black-owned and black-operated financial institution in Alabama. Read all about their history and inspiration here.
No word yet on who will be creating the monument or what it will be. All we know is that the goal is to build something that “represents a vision for an inclusive future and leans proudly on our social justice heritage.”