This Day in History

Aug. 14, 2017: Activists Topple Confederate Monument in Durham

Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001-
Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Women's History

“What I did and what the people of Durham did has really pushed history forward in the face of racism, in the face of repression, and in the face of people who are emboldened by racist symbols.” — Takiyah Thompson

On August 14, 2017, 22-year-old freedom fighter Takiyah Thompson looped a bright yellow strap around the neck of a Durham monument to Confederate soldiers, and a crowd of other activists pulled it down. Its impact reverberated from North Carolina across the country, inspiring other communities to take direct action in removing public symbols that glorify white supremacy and to raise up new stories that celebrate all people.

Thompson said:

I want to try to leave a legacy on Earth. To create a world that is kinder and gentler for Black and Brown youth, for queer youth, for poor youth. I always say that I’m grateful for the movement that came before me and it is important to be grateful and thankful, but also to acknowledge that we need more.

Listen to an interview with Takiyah Thompson on Democracy Now!

This Celebrate People’s History poster (#158 in the series) was printed at the worker-owned and union-run Community Printers, Santa Cruz, California.

Brett Colley is an artist living and working in West Michigan, where he teaches at Grand Valley State University. [From Justseeds‘ description.]