Augusta, Ga (WJBF)- Friday afternoon, Mayor Hardie Davis signed an executive order implementing a task force to further examine parks, street names and monuments honoring confederate leaders.
This comes the day before a scheduled protest at the confederate monument on Broad Street.
A local organization wants to see confederate monuments like this one removed. They say that it doesn’t have to be destroyed but it has no place in downtown Augusta.
“I mean it’s not history. These monuments weren’t put up to memorialize anybody. They were put up to scare people.”
Kailie Coburn joins several others throughout the CSRA who say the the Confederate Monument should be removed from its home on Broad Street. She’s part of a group protesting it during a rally organized by National Action Network and Bringing Lives And Communities Together. Organizers say the confederate monument was erected during the Jim Crow era as a way to marginalize African Americans.
Celeste Broadwater is a nurse in Augusta and attended the rally as well as a supporter and a medic. She says that for the African American Community, monuments like these aren’t just history.
” So things like the confederacy and monuments, it’s a reminder of what I know my mother and my father, what I know my grandmother went through. It’s a hurtful thing to see how divided we still are,” said Broadwater.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with several people at the rally and asked them their thoughts on Mayor Davis’s Confederate Monuments, Street Names and Landmarks Task Force. Many say that while it’s a start, they won’t be impressed until action is taken.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not a full 30 inch step like I’d like, but it’s a step in the right direction. We’ve thought about it. We’ve spoken clearly. We are the people and we want our representatives to say the same thing,” said Que McQueen, a leader of BLACC.
Others who chose not to speak on camera believe monuments should be left alone. One man told us while he didn’t like the inscription, he still feels the monument should stay put.
McQueen says that leaving the monument in place and unchanged sends a bad message about Augusta.
“The city that’s showing people that hey, white supremacy is ok. Hey, racism is fine. Hey the confederacy was white and pure and free of crime. That’s not the message we need to send to our children,” said McQueen.
While organizers say these rallys will continue until action is taken, the next one has not yet been scheduled. For more information on future events and BLACC you can visit their Facebook page.