The Leflore County Board of Supervisors is still looking for a new location for the Confederate monument that sits on the courthouse lawn.

In June, the board voted 4-0 to remove the monument pending the selection of a “more suitable location.” District 1 Supervisor Sam Abraham was not present at the time of the vote, but he later said he would have voted not to move the monument because it would divide the community. 

The vote took place after nationwide protests spurred by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, who was pinned to the ground during an arrest in Minneapolis.

Joyce Chiles, the board’s attorney, said that the next step is finding a new, suitable location for the statue as well as a reputable company to make the removal.

Troy Brown Sr., who called for the removal of the statue, suggested moving it to the Museum of the Mississippi Delta — but, in July, the board of the museum declined to accept it.

Timothy Stanciel, president of the museum board, said moving the monument there would “cause a divide and counteract our mission.” Katie Mills, executive director of the museum, added that although the monument is a piece of the Delta’s history, housing something of that size would be a difficult challenge.

Both District 2 Supervisor Reginald Moore and District 5 Supervisor Robert Collins said that the response was not prompted by the board and that the officials had not addressed moving the monument there.

Other locations that have been suggested include Fort Pemberton Memorial Park in Greenwood.

Fort Pemberton, located at the western intersection of U.S. 49 and U.S. 82, was the site of a Civil War battle, and it also is where Confederates sank the Star of the West steamship in the Tallahatchie River to block the Union’s advance down river to Vicksburg.

Other proposed sites have included the Museum of Mississippi History in Jackson and the Vicksburg National Military Park. However, these have not been formally brought to the board.

“We were really hoping the community would come up with a good place to move it,” Collins, who was board president at the time of the June vote, said Tuesday.

Collins also added that over the months since the vote the COVID-19 pandemic has become more prevalent in the county, and “with the virus, we have more pressing issues in this community at this moment.”

In agreement with the Office of the Attorney General’s guidelines, the board must seek the supervision of Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Michael Morris, public relations director for the department, said that he could provide no comment at this point.

Moore, who was chosen as the supervisors’ new president Monday night, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or abakst@gwcommonwealth.com. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.

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