Illinois statue task force considers adding, removing state monuments – Herald & Review

Douglas, a slave owner, served as Illinois’ secretary of state, state Supreme Court justice and in the U.S. Senate among other roles.

Menard, also a slave owner, was the first lieutenant governor of Illinois, and he supported political actions devised to ensure slavery was legal in the state.

Rep. Mary Flowers, a Chicago Democrat who chairs the committee, suggested the task force consider adding monuments commemorating former President Barack Obama, as well as Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor; Ida B. Wells, a co-founder of the NAACP; and Rudy Lozano, a labor activist from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

But Rachel Leibowitz, an assistant professor at the State University of New York, cautioned the task force against adding too many new figurative monuments and memorials to the Capitol grounds.

She pointed to the Texas Capitol grounds, which has 22 statues, monuments or memorials.

“And, their site is physically larger than yours with the Stratton building, so this is just to say there can be a lot of physical clutter on the ground,” she said.

Leibowitz said the committee could also consider relocating statues or monuments from the Capitol grounds to another place, like a hall of statues.

“I suggest that only because then the state capitol grounds becomes open to everyone,” Leibowitz said. “There is no one there saying, ‘I am not represented.’ There is no one saying, ‘I don’t see myself and my story reflected.’ It is the building, it is the ground. It’s something to consider. I’m not saying that’s the solution, but I just want to offer that as a possibility.”


via “Illinois Politics” – Google News

May 19, 2021 at 07:59PM

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