And I Must Say I Feel Pretty Goddam Good Right Now

After 113 years defiantly facing Union Avenue, the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest was pulled from its pedestal at exactly 9:01 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Secured with straps—let’s call them shackles, with Forrest finally on the receiving end—it swayed under trees for a delicate seven-minute journey to the back of a flatbed truck, whose company information had been covered in tape, a clandestine precaution. 

A little less than an hour later, covered by a blue hood and standing upright, Forrest made his last ride to parts unknown, down a street representing that which he once sought to destroy. Once again, Union had prevailed.

Chris Herrington

This happened because people mandated it and wanted it. Take ‘Em Down 901 is now Took ‘Em Down 901. Those two symbols of white supremacy stunk up Memphis’s parks for TOO LONG. And as of 9:01 last night, they were finally moved. My hometown has never looked better.

Tami Sawyer

It’s important to know why we’re here: The Forrest statue was placed in 1904, as Jim Crow segregation laws were enacted. The Davis statue was placed in 1964, as the Civil Rights Movement changed our country. The statues no longer represent who we are.

In the days after the August events in Charlottesville, we saw an avalanche of support come together behind our efforts. So it’s important that we not forget the sea change that made today a reality: Republicans and Democrats, a unanimous city and county government, Gov. Haslam, scores of diverse members of the clergy, prominent members of the business community, and citizen demonstrators came together to support the same cause.

In all of my life in Memphis, I’ve never seen such solidarity. To all who have joined the effort: THANK YOU.

Jim Strickland

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December 2017

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