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Birmingham Alabama’s Edifice to Evil: Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 1, 2020

Birmingham, Alabama comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson

Birmingham Alabama’s Edifice to Evil is the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument in the city’s downtown Linn Park.

Casting the shadowy pall of slavery over the city since 1905 after being gifted to the city by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, it has increasingly become a touchstone representing man’s inhumanity to man through the wicked institution in Alabama especially, which was the Capitol of the Confederacy.

And then, there’s an interestingly disturbing corollary to the monument in the park.

Linn Park was not always named “Linn Park.”

First named “Central Park” in 1883 by the the Elyton Land Company’s original plans for Birmingham, as drafted by William Barker, its name was changed to “Capitol Park” in 1886 after it was deeded to the city. Its name was again changed to “Woodrow Wilson Park” in 1918 to honor Wilson as President and for being the spokesman of the terms of peace which concluded World War I.

It was nearly three-quarters of a century later in October 1988 that the name was changed from Woodrow Wilson Park to Linn Park to honor Charles Linn, a Captain in the Confederate States Navy, who later became an industrialist/banker/mercantilist and city founder.

Additional details of the park’s location are enumerated in description of the 1907 historical image of the commemorative obelisk shown below.

Birmingham, Alabama area comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson has for many years helped lead efforts to eradicate the city’s Monument to Maleficence which honors treason against the United States and slavery in the guise of Civil War Confederates, replete with a quote from the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, upon the obelisk’s north face: “THE MANNER OF THEIR DEATH, WAS THE CROWNING GLORY OF THEIR LIVES. JEFFERSON DAVIS.”

Alabama Governess Kay Ivey (R)

Johnson’s and numerous others’ opposition to the city’s durable demonic device is unwavering, and has faced opposition from the state’s mostly White Republican legislators, and White Republican Governor Kay Ivey who signed into law a bill protecting that and other such monuments honoring slavery throughout the state.

The city’s mayor, Randall Woodfin, also a Black gentleman, is similarly unwavering in his opposition to the monument’s presence and all that it represents, and has sought on numerous occasions to have it removed, but has been thwarted by the White-dominated Republican legislature and governor. Numerous court battles have raged, and even wound up in the state’s Supreme Court which found that the greatest penalty the city could face for violation of the law forbidding its removal was a $25,000 fine.

Image circa 1907, of the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument obelisk along with a bronze statue of Dr. William Elias B. Davis, MD an early Birmingham area physician, circa 1887, to the RIGHT. Charles Linn Park (formerly Central Park, Capitol Park, and Woodrow Wilson Park) forms the municipal center of downtown Birmingham, and is and is and is bordered on the north by 8th Avenue North, Boutwell Auditorium and the Birmingham Museum of Art, on the south by Park Place, on the east by Linn-Henley Research Library and the Jefferson County Courthouse, and by 20th Street North and the Birmingham City Hall on the west.

Carol Robinson of the website AL dot com interviewed Jermaine Johnson following a tumultuous night in the Magic City Sunday May 31 in which several unsuccessful attempts to topple the obelisk were made, and in which its inscriptions were marred, chipped, chiseled at and defaced by numerous crowd participants. Most in the city – Black and White – are willing to see it go.


They’re not for Birmingham, they’re not from Birmingham. We know, we were on the ground.

We talked with some of these people. When you have a lot of people from Birmingham, including the police and the mayor, everybody’s out here peaceful because we recognize each other. Everybody’s walking up, ‘Oh we went to Ramsay together, we went to JO together, and here comes a group of people nobody knows and we’re like, ‘Hey what’s up man’ and they’re like ‘We’re not here to talk.’ They were just rude to everybody. They were rude to reporters. They were rude to us.

If you think I incited violence, you don’t think monuments like this and the policies behind it haven’t incited violence for decades, you just need to think again.

I hate it. I hate it. I love my city. I don’t stand for that.

Y’all won’t be able to find not one video where I’m encouraging people to tear down our city. As a matter of fact, you’ll find just the opposite. I literally encouraged people to with a heart for Birmingham to not touch our city. Those are the videos you will find. You will not find Jermaine Johnson on any video encouraging looting of any building in Birmingham.

A line in the sand has been drawn so I feel a lot of people is trying to choose sides. If you support monuments like this, and you support causes like, this stand your ground but lets us know and I’m still willing to have a conversation with you.

But if you’re on the other side of this like I am and you want to see this stuff torn down and you want to see the lives of the four little girls and the 16th street Baptist church and Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy, and Fred Shuttlesworth, if you want to see their lives not be in vain, stand on our side because the fight is on now.

I used my own privilege to strike the match and now that the match has been lit, we’re going to forward. We’re not here to promote violence. That promotes violence. That has promoted violence for decades.

If you just so happen to do certain things and take down certain monuments, I will stand with you. My comments were sincere. My comments were to the Black community to start coming back to the city limits of Birmingham.

This is our city, let’s build it back up. Let’s show that we can be a prosperous city with Black leadership. Let’s take ownership and let’s tear down the monuments of the past that don’t mean us well.

We’ve got a lot of cities around the country. They’re tearing down Target. They’re tearing down city hall. We can’t do that. We gotta protect our city. We can’t tear down 16th Street Baptist Church. We can’t tear down the civil rights museum. We can’t tear down Carver. We can’t tear down A.G. Gaston Plaza. But what I’m not telling you to do is walk to Linn Park. I’m not telling to walk to Linn Park after this rally. I’m not telling you to tear something down in Linn Park. I’m not telling you that I’m going to be over there after this rally.

But if that shit ain’t down by Tuesday morning, I will see you here at 12 Tuesday.

https://www.al.com/news/2020/06/funnymaine-johnson-agitators-from-outside-birmingham-turned-protests-violent.html

One Response to “Birmingham Alabama’s Edifice to Evil: Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument”

  1. […] to honor that president’s guiding hand in the cessation of hostilities in World War I. Then, in October 1988, the park’s name was changed to Linn Park, to honor Charles Linn, a Captain in… The onerous obelisk was carefully and painstakingly dismantled, and removed on a flatbed of a […]

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