TN Historical Commission to hear arguments on removing Memphis Confederate statues

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) plans to take up the debate over the Natan Bedford Forrest statue by the end of the week.

THC initially said it would not take up the issue in October, but that appears to have chanced since the item is now on the group's agenda.

Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis City Council all want permission from THC to remove Memphis' Confederate statues from public areas. However, THC has to vote to give the city permission to do that.

Strickland said he believes there are a significant number of THC members who are in favor of removing the statues, but he knows it will come down to a close vote. Strickland wrote an op-ed in The Commercial Appeal explaining his position on the Confederate monuments.

That's one reason he will be going to the THC meeting and pleading his case.

"It's time for these statues to come down, and it's time for proactive stances to be taken--not only by the mayor but the city council so that we don't see these statues anymore," Pastor Nole Hutchinson said.

THC meets in Athens, Tennessee. Strickland will make a trip to Athens on Friday in an attempt to sway the vote.

"We've got a plan. I am working that plan. I think we've hit the sweet spot in the middle where the entire, most of the entire community is supportive of our plan, and our goal is to take them down legally," Strickland said.

WMC Action News 5 will be in Athens for Friday's meeting. Be sure to download the WMC Action News 5 app for the latest information on what the Tennessee Historical Commission decides to do with the Confederate monuments.

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