State Rep. Kionne McGhee Renews Call for Slavery Memorial at Florida Capitol

by | Aug 24, 2017

 

A South Florida state representative is reviving legislation to establish a slavery memorial on the grounds of the state Capitol.

The bill was filed this week by Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami.

The proposed legislation says the intent is “to recognize the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the American Colonies and to honor the nameless and forgotten men, women, and children who have gone unrecognized for their undeniable and weighty contributions to the United States.”

A similar proposal was approved in the House in this year’s regular legislative session, but died in the Senate.

McGhee’s slavery memorial legislation would authorize the Department of Management Services (DMS), the state agency that maintains the Capitol grounds, to develop a plan for a slavery memorial. The development of the memorial would be done in conjunction with the Florida Historical Commission and the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State.

Confederate monument outside Old Historic Capitol

The bill was filed the same week that the NAACP called on Gov. Rick Scott to remove a memorial dedicated to slain Confederate soldiers that sits on the grounds of the Capitol complex.

But, the Department of Management Services (DMS), the state agency that maintains the Capitol grounds, says only the Legislature has the authority to order the monument removed.

“This monument is listed as a permanent exhibit of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum which is managed by the Florida Legislature,” the agency said in a statement.

The NAACP Florida State Conference is calling for legislation to remove Confederate symbols on all public grounds across the state.

“We call on all members of the Florida Legislature to stand together and end the bigotry that has divided us for too long and support a bill banning all Confederate statues, flags and memorials from public grounds across the State of Florida,”  Adora Obi Nweze, president of NAACP Florida State Conference, said in a statement released earlier this week.

 

 

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