RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – One after another, cities across the United States are removing Confederate statues and other symbols, dispensing with what some see as offensive artifacts of a shameful past marked by racism and slavery. But Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital that boasts some of the most dramatic displays of such statuary, is taking a go-slow approach.
The city’s young black mayor, Levar Stoney, recently announced he thinks the monuments should stay but appointed a commission to study ways to add historical context or new statues. That plan drew praise from many as a reasonable middle ground but criticism from others.
It also raised a long-running debate about whether Virginia’s capital city is doing enough to recognize darker parts of its past, including its former role as a domestic slave trading hub.
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