Tampa's Confederate monument will be relocated to cemetery


Hillsborough commissioners reversed an earlier decision to keep a Confederate monument at the old county courthouse by voting Wednesday to remove the statue from public land.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that after 106 years, the monument will be taken down from its place and moved to a private cemetery, which already has a section for Confederate veterans.

Hillsborough commissioners voted in June to keep the monument and place a "diversity mural" behind it, but that decision was met with outcry by Tampa activists, local officials and even the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. The Times reports that in 2015, the same commission voted to remove a Confederate flag from the county center and give it to the Tampa Bay History Center. Les Miller, the board's only African-American commissioner, pushed for the commission to vote on the issue again after its earlier decision – as a college student, he told himself he would help remove the Confederate statue, according to the Times.

"It's for future generations to come," Miller said at the meeting. "I grew up in segregation. I knew what it was like to see that monument or Confederate flags."

Hillsborough County now joins other Southern regions like New Orleans and Orlando that have removed their Confederate monuments. Last month, Orlando removed its "Johnny Reb" statue from Lake Eola Park and relocated it to the Greenwood Cemetery after some local residents decried it as a symbol of white supremacy and slavery.

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