North Texas Daily

Why no statues on the Square devoted to black lives?

Why no statues on the Square devoted to black lives?

Why no statues on the Square devoted to black lives?
February 28
23:40 2016

Sarah Sarder | Staff Writer

@sarderrr

Activists again called for the removal of the Confederate solider statue on the Denton Square Saturday, and questioned why there are no memorials dedicated to the black lives that have lived and served in Denton County.

Denton NAACP chapter president Willie Hudspeth has worked to take down or to modify the statue since 1999. He organized the rally in hopes that a high turnout and signatures on his petition would somehow inspire county officials to reconsider previous rulings against the statue’s removal.

“The goal of the rally is to gauge the amount of public support for the movement, and to interact with both supporters and opponents of the effort,” Hudspeth said.

The goal of the movement is to add a memorial to the Square to commemorate Quakertown, a black neighborhood in the 1920s that was uprooted because of racial fears and its proximity to Texas Woman’s University. Additionally, Hudspeth wants Denton County to pay homage to Zach Rawlings, a slave who worked as a janitor in the Denton Courthouse for many years.

“Since its a historical site, let’s add some history that shows other races and what they’ve done,” Hudspeth said.

Willie Hudspeth, Denton County's NAACP president, speaks to an activist in this photo from July 2015.

Willie Hudspeth, Denton County’s NAACP president, speaks to an activist in this photo from July 2015.

The movement lost some momentum after 2003, when Hudspeth could no longer protest on the Square because of work. When nine people were shot and killed inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, however, he found renewed energy to keep fighting.

One visitor to the Square, Kat Davis, a 61-year-old healthcare worker, suggested all cultures who have contributed to Denton be recognized. While Davis said she doesn’t have a problem with the Confederate soldier statue, she signed the petition in support of more diverse historical memorials on the Square. Davis compared the composition of the population to a flower garden.

“Why would you want to have all daisies?” Davis said. “The more colors, the more fragrances, the better.”​

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