The Baltimore City Council has approved plans to rededicate a Confederate monument in Baltimore's Wyman Park Dell, according to the Johns Hopkins Newsletter. The site once honored Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and it will now honor abolitionist and Union spy Harriet Tubman.
Statues of Lee and Jackson were erected in the park in 1948 and were removed in August. City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke confirmed that the site will be rededicated as the "Harriet Tubman Grove” on March 10.
“Just as Harriet Tubman led hundreds from slavery and hundreds of Union soldiers during the Civil War, she is now helping lead Baltimore’s reclamation of our four former Confederate sites, as a place of community gathering and peaceful contemplation,” Clarke wrote in a statement.
Nathan Connolly, the Herbert Baxter Adams associate professor of history at Hopkins, said that Baltimore's Confederate statues were mostly located in historically white parts of the city. The professor added that the Lee and Jackson statues were likely raised in response to African Americans gaining more rights in the post-World War II period.
Students and members of the community are welcoming the change with open arms.
Zachary Wheeler, a local student, said that he felt it was long overdue: “I believe that the election of Donald Trump gave many cities in America the shock that was needed in order for people to remember that these statues were controversial.”
Nick Sloan, a Johns Hopkins student, said, “I thought it was a pretty progressive and appropriate step given that we have a very diverse community. A monument shows that we’re proud of the history that it represents. I don’t think that we’re proud of slavery. So we shouldn’t commemorate the people that fought for it."