Vance Monument in Asheville covered, task force sought to identify memorial’s future – WSPA 7News

10July 2020

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA)– A confederate memorial in downtown Asheville is expected to be removed or transferred quickly, however for now, it’s covered with a shroud.

7 News discovered more about the future of the Vance Monolith in Load Square and what the community has to say about it.

“It’s the ideal transfer to take it down due to the fact that some individuals are distressed still,” Dominique Thomas stated. “It reveals the truth that, back in the day, my ancestors were made the most of.”

“I believe they must take it down. The faster the better,” Emma Naqvi added. “It does come off offensive because of what, during the Civil War, the confederate soldiers were fighting for, to keep slavery.”

A monolith honoring confederate soldiers named after former North Carolina governor and known servant owner Zebulon Vance still stands. But on Friday, the monolith was covered.

The strategy is to eliminate or re-purpose the monolith in the near future, however city and county authorities stated a task force of 12 members need to initially be created to figure out the monolith’s future.

The task force’s job will be to collect public input and discover a way to honor the local history of African-Americans.

Until then, officials said the covering’s purpose is to “decrease its effect on the neighborhood and to minimize the danger of harm it provides in its current state.”

“I think it benefits them to cover it just in case other individuals will be attempting to take it down themselves,” Thomas stated.

Some folks said they were happy with the decision, stating it’s time for modification and the covering advises them that change is on the method. Others said it won’t alter much.

“They can eliminate the monument all day long, however it’s not going to alter the history,” Richard Stuphin said. “We can’t go back and alter history.”

In general, neighborhood members told 7 News they want whatever will produce unity.

“I would like to see more of not taking down, however more of existing side by side,” Pam Sutphin stated. “Develop the black history beside the white history.”

“We carry on,” Richard Sutphin said. “We learn from it, we gain from our errors, and we progress.”

While Buncombe County is already in the process of interviewing possible job force members, the City of Asheville is still searching for prospective members. If you want to use, click on this link. All eligible job force applications will be sent out to city board members for review on July 24. They will then vote to designate 6 members on July 28, while the county will vote to select 6 on July 21.

The job force will provide a last report of suggestion to the city and county about what should be made with the Vance Monument within three months after being appointed.Source: wspa.com

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