BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The murders of nine church members in South Carolina this summer sparked a controversy in Baltimore: What to do about honoring the confederacy on public property?
WJZ’s Pat Warren has the details.
Seven members have been appointed to a special commission to review all of Baltimore’s Confederate statues and historical assets.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake selected four members from the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and three members from the Baltimore City Public Arts Commission.
The mayor says over the next six months, the commission will conduct a thorough review of Confederate monuments on city owned property, including gathering research and soliciting public testimony.
South Carolina removed the Confederate Flag from its statehouse in July following the murders of nine members of the historically black Emanuel AME Church. The killing has reopened the controversy over whether Confederate symbols are appropriate on government owned property.
“It is important that we recognize the delicate balance between respecting history and being offensive,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “I believe that by bringing together representatives from the art community and historians, and gathering public testimony, we have a better chance of understanding the importance of historic monuments-not only the significance they have in our history, but the role they should play in our future.”
Currently, there are four Confederate monuments on City property that are to be reviewed by the commission.
- Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument located on Mount Royal Avenue near Mosher Street
- Confederate Women’s of Maryland, located at Bishop Square Park
- Roger B. Taney Monument, located on Mt. Vernon Place in North Park
- Lee & Jackson Monument, located in Wyman Park Dell.
The question at hand is, what does a statue communicate?
Aaron Bryant, Review Commission Chairman says it can communicate all kinds of things and he thinks that’s what the commission will do.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument located on Mount Royal Avenue near Mosher Street and the Confederate Women’s of Maryland, located at Bishop Square Park, was donated by the Maryland Daughters of the Confederacy.
The commission’s report and recommendations are expected to be delivered to the mayor by early next year.