SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport-Bossier NAACP chapter is teaming up with Dr. Artis Cash of the National Action Network and asking the Caddo Parish Commission to remove the Confederate statue located in front of the Caddo Parish courthouse.
NAACP President of the Shreveport chapter Lloyd Thompson and Dr. Artis Cash held a press conference at the NAACP headquarters on Milam street Wednesday.
"With all the talk across the country, we're now in a position to ask the Caddo Parish Commission on behalf of the NAACP and members of Caddo Parish, let's bring the statue down," said Thompson. "I'm calling on Caddo Parish and the citizens of Shreveport to join the NAACP and say now it's time for the monument to come down."
Dr. Artis Cash is with the National Action News Network which was founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton.
"We have six African Americans sitting on the Caddo Parish Commission, and the last time the late Joyce Bowman asked for this to happen there was a talk that there was not enough money," said Dr. Cash. "Well we know there's enough money now because we know what happened with Elio Motors and so we're going to join hands with the NAACP and our goal is to ask Commissioner Bowman, Gerald Bowman, to join in with us by removing this monument from off the steps of justice."
In 2011, local advocacy groups joined together to help bring down a Confederate flag, the third national that was hanging in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse.
The Confederate Monument is a nationally registered monument. Dr. Gary Joiner, the Chair of the History department at LSU-Shreveport, says it's illegal to take that statue down.
"The Caddo Parish Commission does not own the statue or the land that it's on," said Joiner. "The statue is owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy."
We reached out to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Lynda Gramling, Immediate Past President of Shreveport Chapter 237, issued the following statement via email.
"The monument on Texas Street to the memory of the Confederate Defenders was erected in 1906 by the Shreveport Chapter 237. The official stance regarding this monument is as follows:
* We own the monument
* It is on the National Registry of Historical Sites
* It will never be moved"
Lloyd Thompson still believes there is something that can be done as he is not asking for the monument to be taken down for good.
"I think we need to ask the parish attorney and ask the parish commissioner to look at it and ask what they can do with the national registry and say 'hey we want to remove it.'" said Lloyd. "We understand it's a national monument from the past but we want to remove it because it's not fair for the citizens of Caddo. Perhaps it can be moved to the Confederate cemetery in Keithville or to a museum."
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