BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Context around a confederate monument; that was the vote by a Brunswick committee that will help decide the fate of a confederate monument in one of the city’s historic parks.
Since the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, the city is having new conversations about race relations. Some of those talks center around a century-old statue of a confederate soldier. “BLM” was once spray-painted on the statue in Hanover Square, which could have more historical context markers added around it in the future.
Shemeka Sorrells and John Richards are both Brunswick natives. Sorrells even bought property in the same historic district near the statue in question.
Richards says monuments like this represent an ideology harmful to African-Americans.
“The stories of Native Americans and African-Americans have been glossed over in terms of the pain and the hurt,” Richards said.
The committee voted 5-4 to add historical context around the statue.
Richards and Sorrells both voted “no” and say they wish instead that all options would be presented to the Brunswick City Commission.
Those options include removing it, keeping it or adding context. Sorrells explains what she thinks the context means.
“Folks should understand who erected the statue and what it meant to them and the ideology it's associated with,” Sorrells said.
In some of the committee’s Zoom meetings, available for public viewing, some committee members expressed they want the statue to stay.
Richards thinks all options must be left on the table.
“We were to serve in an advisory capacity, not authoritative,” Richards said.
Before a final decision is made the public will have a chance to give their thoughts.