Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Charleston History Commission to hold first meeting on proposed John C. Calhoun monument plaque

Mayor calls for discussion on Calhoun’s ‘views on racism, slavery, and white supremacy’

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 11:31 AM

click to enlarge The statue of John C. Calhoun in Marion Square - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • The statue of John C. Calhoun in Marion Square
Just over a month since Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg called on the city’s History Commission to reevaluate the historical context of local monuments, the board is set to discuss one of the area’s most controversial figures — John C. Calhoun.

Following the fatal attack on counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., local activists renewed calls for the removal of the Calhoun monument in Marion Square and the repeal of the state's Heritage Act. Mayor Tecklenburg said in August that he had been considering plans to provide greater historical context at various monuments across the city for months, but the attack in Charlottesville broadened his perspective on what was needed.

It was during the August meeting that Tecklenburg tasked the Commission on History to help lead the way by drafting the language for additional markers to be placed at monuments throughout the city to further explain the “historical significance of race, racism, slavery, and white supremacy with regard to city monuments, places, or buildings.” First on Tecklenburg’s list was the addition of a plague placed at the Calhoun monument, outlining the former vice president and South Carolina native’s pro-slavery views.

After more than a month since that meeting, the city’s History Commission is set to gather Wed. Oct. 4 to discuss the first draft of the proposed language that will be placed on the Calhoun monument plaque. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. inside City Council chambers on Broad Street.

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