BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Brunswick leaders are expected to select a nine-person committee Wednesday to discuss the next phase in possibly removing a Confederate monument in Hanover Park downtown.
Brunswick’s mayor said all options for the statue are on the table.
He said the committee will be conducting a lot of research, learning about the history of the monument, and from there, the committee will make its recommendation to city leaders.
He said that might not necessarily mean removing the 20-foot statue, which has been a Brunswick landmark since it was erected and dedicated in 1902.
“I think in the end, this whole community will be a lot better. We will know the actual history of Glynn County, the history of slavery, of racism,” Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey said. “We’re going to learn a lot.”
In recent months, the statue became a talking point after the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was gunned down while jogging in a neighborhood outside the city.
Harvey said the discussion to possibly remove the monument began after his office received numerous calls asking for it to be removed.
He said depending on the committee’s recommendations, all options are on the table – from relocating the monument to possibly adding plaques for historical context.
Some candidates for the panel are already on board, including a representative from the NAACP, the Downtown Development Authority, and a history professor.
Harvey said the Daughters of the Confederacy spearheaded the mission to erect the statue. He said he believes that entity should be represented on the board as well. He also says other individuals could be on a subcommittee.
“We’re not running from issues, tough issues that have come to our community,” Harvey said. “We’re going to do it in the right way. We’re going to make sure we get great information. We’re going to get great people here.”
The mayor also said this will not be a rushed issue. People on all sides will have a chance to weigh in through a series of town hall meetings. As of now, none have been scheduled.