Annoyed group of Confederate veterans from Black History Museum will get statues
RICHMOND, Virginia – Controversial Confederate generals who once stood on Richmond’s iconic Monument Avenue are finding new homes.
The statues of Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart, along with other soldiers and artifacts now belong to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center Of Virginia, which will partner with The Valentine to determine the future of the collection.
“These are not just huge objects in terms of physical presence,” said Greg Werkheiser, who is advising both museums on the project. “These are huge objects in terms of the public imagination.”
The move follows a process established by the city, which called on groups and individuals interested in acquiring the statues to submit an application by September 2020.
However, the Black History Museum was not among the 23 submissions received by the city.
As a result, Andrew Morehead of the Virginia Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, who sent in a request, said it shouldn’t be “even considered.”
But a spokesperson for the mayor pointed to an excerpt from an ordinance saying the city can direct the final disposition of the monuments.
And Werkheiser said museums won’t forget those who sent in requests.
“If someone has submitted a request, they shouldn’t feel like a final decision has been made. “
However, Morehead thinks other options make more sense.
“You have the Jeb Stuart Homeplace who submitted an official request for the Jeb Stuart monument,” Morehead said. “What is more appropriate than that?” “
As for the Lee monument, the Commonwealth will transfer ownership to Richmond, then Mayor Stoney will ask city council in January to support its donation to the Black History Museum.
“What’s really great about it is that there are no geographic or strategic limits imposed on what can happen,” Werkheiser said. “I can honestly tell you that both museums are approaching this situation with a completely open mind.”
Werkheiser said museums will release a draft of next steps over the next two months with specific timelines and targets.
“There is a bit of cosmic poetry in the Black History Museum that plays this role,” Werkheiser said. “It is significant that Blacks and Browns and the institution that cultivates and preserves their history will play a leading role in determining their destiny.”
RELATED: Plan for Confederate Landmarks in Richmond is ‘The Right Thing to Do’, Says Mayor