City of Madison to remove confederate monument

The confederate monument at Four Freedoms park in Madison, FL
The confederate monument at Four Freedoms park in Madison, FL(WCTV)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 11:12 AM EDT
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MADISON, Fla. (WCTV) - The confederate monument that’s stood in the middle of Madison for more than a century will soon be coming down.

The city commission voted 3-2 Tuesday night to remove the 23-foot marble obelisk that pays tribute to fallen confederate soldiers from Madison County.

The vote was split along racial lines, with the city’s three black commissioners, Rayne Cooks, Terry Johnson and Judy Townsend, voting in favor of removal, while the two white commissioners, Ina Thompson and Jim Catron, voted against taking it down.

Local businessman Donelle Davis started pushing for removal of the monument in June. Tuesday’s decision came after input from several people in the community who stand on both sides of the issue.

Madison city manager Jerome Wyche says he is now researching how to move the monument safely without damaging it. Wyche says the city will likely secure it and store it until deciding where it may be relocated. There is discussion of taking the placard at the base, bearing the names of confederate soldiers, and placing it at Oak Ridge cemetery, where many of those soldiers are buried.

The confederate monument has stood in Madison’s Four Freedoms Park since 1909, when it was dedicated by a chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Communities nationwide have been removing confederate monuments, in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a re-energized Black Lives Matter movement.

On June 11, Gadsden County commissioners voted to remove the confederate monument outside the county courthouse. Within 30 minutes after the decision, a crane crew was brought in to dismantle the monument.

There are also calls to remove large oak trees in Monticello and Marianna that were used for the lynching of African Americans.

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