WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement from Susan Corke, director of the Intelligence Project, in response to renaming Fort Lee in Virginia.
“We are thankful to see this military base renamed to Fort Gregg-Adams, honoring two Black officers who excelled in the maintaining of military equipment and made significant marks in U.S. Army history.
“Lt. Gen. Arthur J. Gregg rose from the rank of private to three-star general during his military logistics career, which began just after World War II and spanned nearly 36 years. Gregg, now 94, will be the only living person in modern Army history to have an installation named after him.
“Lt. Col. Charity Adams was the first Black officer in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps — later known as the Women’s Army Corps — in World War II and led the first predominately Black WAC unit to serve overseas: the storied 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion.
“Today, we honor two Black military veterans whose service would make any Virginian proud and any American proud. We applaud this progress in addressing the hard legacy of racism and slavery in this country, but tomorrow, we get back to work. As long as Confederate symbols litter our public spaces, the legitimacy of the racial hierarchy, white superiority, and Black inferiority is reinforced. We will continue this work until every monument to the Lost Cause is out of the public realm in pursuit of an inclusive, multi-racial democracy.”
After learning that nine Black people were killed during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a gunman radicalized by white supremacist websites, the SPLC began to catalog all of the Confederate symbols in public spaces across the country.
Updated in Feb. 2022, the third edition of the SPLC’s Whose Heritage? report, data, and map show that of the more than 2,600 Confederate symbols still publicly present across the U.S., 894 are Confederate statues. The balance consists of government buildings, plaques, markers, schools, parks, counties, cities, military property, and streets and highways named after anyone associated with the Confederacy.
The Whose Heritage? Action Guide helps communities take action to remove symbols of the Confederacy from public places.
If you know of a Confederate symbol in your area or want to share an update, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.