As for next steps, Stephens said he is shopping around for a sign or a plaque to be made in Lee’s honor. But, he said the Council also heard Tuesday a request of support for grant writers seeking $150,000 in grant funding for public art in the city. Stephens said, if approved, this would include a statue of Lee to be put in or very near the park grounds. He said he’d like to hold a public renaming event when COVID-19 recedes.
Councilman Russell Brown was a student of Lee’s and said he was very happy to see the renaming pass Tuesday night.
“He did a lot for the Black community,” he said.
Brown had Lee as both an instructor and a principal at the segregated Douglass School in Murphysboro. He previously recalled Lee looking after students, especially those whose families were poor. He was known to buy clothes and shoes for kids who needed it.
Brown said many of Lee’s former students come home for the holidays and will enjoy seeing the park under its new name, especially if the plaque is up when they come.
Brown also said this will have an impact on the Black community in Murphysboro.
“The Black community will be a little closer now,” he said. “It’ll make a big difference.”
Southern Illinoisans hold demonstrations in response to George Floyd’s death
via The Southern
July 15, 2020 at 05:46PM