Lawmakers consider dropping KKK member’s name from federal building in Memphis

Lawmakers consider dropping KKK member’s name from federal building in Memphis
Clifford Davis - Odell Horton Federal Building (Source: WMC)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A bill that will allow the renaming of a federal building in Memphis is one step closer to passage.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the bill to redesignate the Clifford Davis – Odell Horton Building.

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) says, if passed, the name would change to only honor Judge Odell Horton doing away with Davis, a Ku Klux Klan member and supporter of Jim Crow laws.

Horton “left a remarkable legacy as the first Black federal judge appointed since Reconstruction,” according to Cohen.

In a statement Cohen says Davis’ family is in favor of the removal:

“Recently, Clifford Davis’ family even released a statement supporting the removal of his name from the building.

They said, ‘We are proud of Cliff Davis’ many contributions to Memphis, but his membership in the Klan and support for Jim Crow cannot be excused.’”

Cohen says he first presented this idea back in 2007 but believed there was a lack of “political will.”

Now, the bill is eligible for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

If passed, the structure at 167 North Main Street in Downtown Memphis would change its name to the Odell Horton Federal Building.

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