Take Him Down
Standing for over 131 years before its removal in December 2021, the six-story monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee existed as an ode to the ‘Lost Cause’ revisionist narrative of the Confederacy. To many, the monument served as a state-sanctioned reminder of slavery and Black Suffering. After the murder of George Floyd, Richmonders adopted the Lee Monument and circle surrounding it as an occupied space; one to remember Black Lives lost to police violence, and to organize in support of each other and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The space was renamed ‘Marcus-David Peters Circle’ (MDPC) by the community for Marcus, a Richmond school teacher who was killed by Richmond Police while suffering a mental health crisis at age 24. This story follows the recontextualization of the circle and Lee Monument during the period of time after George Floyd’s killing through the monument’s complete removal in December 2021.