JeffCo commissioners voting on committee to discuss murals

JeffCo commissioners voting on committee to discuss murals

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Birmingham Metro NAACP consider two murals that greet visitors at the Jefferson County Courthouse racist. Later this week, Jefferson County Commissioners will be voting on creating a committee to decide what to do with those murals that many consider offensive.

The mural of a large white woman standing over a plantation with African American slaves working in a cotton field is in the hallway of the courthouse. The NAACP and some elected leaders believe the murals are offensive.

Commissioner Sandra Little Brown announced she will create a committee to determine what to do with the murals. Critics say the murals do not tell the whole story and history of a diverse Jefferson County today.

There are spots for new murals to go up. Still, a spokesman for the NAACP believes the mural must be removed. "When the committee decides to relocate them wherever it is outside of these halls off the property is entirely up to the committee members," said Rev. Anthony Johnson.

Representatives of the Birmingham Museum of Art addressed the commission. Director Gail Andrews agreed the murals are inappropriate by themselves but she calls the murals art and they should not be destroyed. "I don't think we are at the point to erase our history. I would like our history to be understood with the context. I'd like it to refine us not define us," said Andrews.

Each Jefferson County Commissioner will suggest names. The committee will be named in two weeks and after 120 days they will come with recommendations to decide what to do with the murals if they will stay up but have other murals or exhibits added or if they will be moved to another location.

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