NAACP Asks for Jefferson County Courthouse Murals to be Removed

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:300;s:4:"file";s:36:"2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:5:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"JeffCo-Murals-Commission-336x168.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:168;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"JeffCo-Murals-Commission-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:34:"JeffCo-Murals-Commission-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"JeffCo-Murals-Commission-470x235.jpg";s:5:"width";i:470;s:6:"height";i:235;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"JeffCo-Murals-Commission-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Ashley Cleek
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] => WBHM
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:178188;s:14:"optimized_size";i:123688;s:7:"percent";d:30.59;}s:5:"sizes";a:8:{s:4:"full";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:64:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:62812;s:14:"optimized_size";i:38592;s:7:"percent";d:38.560000000000002;}s:9:"thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:6:"medium";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:72:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission-336x168.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:16063;s:14:"optimized_size";i:12176;s:7:"percent";d:24.199999999999999;}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:72:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission-600x300.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:46945;s:14:"optimized_size";i:33786;s:7:"percent";d:28.030000000000001;}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:72:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission-300x300.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:25316;s:14:"optimized_size";i:18717;s:7:"percent";d:26.07;}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:72:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/JeffCo-Murals-Commission-470x235.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:27052;s:14:"optimized_size";i:20417;s:7:"percent";d:24.530000000000001;}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}}}
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => success
        )

)
1624213627 
1443160423

Members of the Jefferson County Commission say they’ll address a petition by the local NAACP chapter and other groups calling for the removal of two murals in the courthouse. This latest push comes in the wake of the killings of nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, that sparked a debate over symbols of the Confederacy throughout the South.

More than 60 people packed a county commission hearing Thursday afternoon as people urged county leaders to remove the two towering murals by the courthouse entrance.  Painted in the 1930s, one shows a tall white woman in white dress standing above slaves in a cotton field. The other shows a large white man standing above the workers in an iron plant.

One of the 1930s-era murals in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Ashley Cleek,WBHM
One of the 1930s-era murals in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

 Valerie Hicks Powe says she would come to the courthouse with her mother as a little girl and ask why the white people were so big and the black people so small.

“[You] can’t change history, but it is time to change the image being in the courthouse,” said Hicks Powe. “I don’t think it should be destroyed, but I think it should be somewhere where people can look at it and discuss it as we are.” Hicks Powe recommends putting the murals in a museum.

 Former Birmingham resident Anne Garland Mahler started a petition to remove the murals.  She explained the symbols still have weight.

 “In a courthouse where people are seeking justice and equality, there are images right when you walk in that communicate the very opposite,” Mahler told the commissioners.

The Jefferson County Historical Commission has said the murals should stay since they represent part of the region’s history.

Three of the five commissioners support removing the murals.

The commission said they would address the situation within two weeks.

 

Rickwood Field, a time capsule of opportunity and oppression, welcomes MLB for Negro Leagues tribute

Rickwood Field, the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S. and former home to baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays and the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues, will host an MLB game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Alabama native Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid’ has died at 93

Mays' family and the San Francisco Giants jointly announced Tuesday night he had died earlier in the afternoon in the Bay Area.

What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Wednesday is Juneteenth. a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. The date goes back to 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their emancipation.  During our recent News and Brews community pop-up at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, we asked people what Juneteenth means to them.

Hall of Famer Willie Mays will not be in attendance for Negro League tribute game at Rickwood Field

Mays, who began his career in Alabama with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues and played for the Giants from 1951-72, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he will enjoy the game at home.

As dollar stores continue rural expansion, a Louisiana parish found a new way to push back

Tangipahoa Parish blocked a new Dollar General from opening in a case that could set a precedent for other communities looking to keep discount retailers out.

A family’s search for their native and formerly enslaved heritage in South Alabama

The Tate Family has spent nearly two decades uncovering records that establish their ancestors' time in Alabama before its statehood.

More Front Page Coverage