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Mayor White: COVID-19, police accountability slow Confederate monument plans

Courtney Tollison
Courtney Tollison, Distinguished University Public Historian and Scholar

Three years after expressing support for supplemental signage that would provide historical context for the Confederate monument in Springwood Cemetery, Greenville Mayor Knox White says different city council priorities have taken the front burner. As reported in The Greenville News, White said city leaders are focusing on other issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and a new police accountability task force.

Before the pandemic hit with full force this year, Furman University history professor Courtney Tollison ’99 drafted language for use on a new plaque for the monument. But since the recent outcry over Confederate monuments, she says she is in favor of a different tack. “I would now recommend [the statue’s] removal to a local museum, where I would welcome an opportunity to create an exhibit that contextualizes it and conveys the extent to which memorials are reflections of the values of the people who raise the money and go to the effort of creating them far more than they are reflections of the people or events they are supposed to honor,” Tollison said.

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