Many Confederate statues toppled in the wake of the George Floyd protests, and calls to remove public symbols glorifying the Confederacy steadily persisted since.
Here are five Confederate monuments removed in the continued effort to carry the momentum of last summer’s global demonstrations against police brutality and racial inequality.
As statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are removed from their pedestals nearly a century after their erection, residents of Charlottesville, Virginia exhale their breath. University of Virginia Sophomore Zyahna Bryant headlined the five-year-long battle to remove the bronze symbols of white supremacy.
The statue of Robert E. Lee—commander and general of the Confederate States Army who surrendered to Union forces in 1865—was at the center of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally—wherein a group of white supremacists responding to plans to remove the statue led to violence against counter-protesters. During the clash, a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of counter-protestors, resulting in several injuries and the death of Heather Heyer.
District of Columbia
Another statue of Robert E. Lee, chosen by Virginia for display on the U.S. Capitol, will be replaced by a statue of Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns, who staged a walkout at the age of 16 to protest the poor conditions of her high school. The Lee statue was removed in December of 2020.
Johns’ protest caught the attention of the NAACP, and lawyers Spottswood Robinson and Oliver Hill filed Davis v. Prince Edward, one of the five cases combined in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, where segregation was deemed unconstitutional.
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
A statue of a confederate soldier was removed from outside of a courthouse in the Isle of Wight County of Virginia. The monument dates back 116 years and was taken down in May of 2021.
A statue of an unnamed Confederate soldier was removed from outside the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville. A small audience watched as the statue was pulled off its pedestal in October 2020.
A Confederate monument, with the inscription “1861-1865 Lest We Forget” was removed from outside of Gwinnett County Courthouse, 28 years after its installation.
After repeated vandalizations since the George Floyd protests of summer 2020, the statue was finally taken down in February of 2021.