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Quote: Washington Post on the Black Contractor Who Took Down Richmond's Confederate Statues

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Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. By day he manages product teams. The rest of the time he is a podcast host and producer, writer of speculative fiction, a rabid reader, and a programmer.

This is a great profile from the Washington Post on Devon Henry, the contractor who took on the city of Richmond’s contract to remove their confederate statues, and the challenges he faced along the way.

He had come to understand that those statues — especially Lee — were like religious objects to their defenders. They had stood more than a century as totems of a powerful mythology: that slavery was somehow benign, that Southerners were the noble victims of Northern aggression, that things were better when White people presided over an orderly world. The Lost Cause.

For a Black man to destroy such a symbol would put his life, his family, his livelihood on the line. Henry knew that in Louisiana, a White contractor withdrew from the job of removing four Confederate monuments after receiving death threats. Someone torched the man’s car.

But Henry saw this as a powerful chance to give a bit of justice to the souls represented by the memorial to enslaved people. He wanted to talk with his family and his team at the company before committing.

Gregory S. Schneider, White contractors wouldn’t remove Confederate statues. So a Black man did it., Washington Post


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