Broward’s statue to be removed and stored
Garth A. Rose
The statute of the former Florida governor for whom Broward County derived its name is to be removed, because he was reputed to be racist. The decision was taken to remove the statue of former Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward which was erected at the county’s main courthouse in 1993, after a group of county attorneys determined that he was a racist.
Remove Blacks from America
Highlights of the former governor’s racist attitude was made public via a blog, the JAAA blog, that, among other documents, exposed a speech in which in Broward called for that blacks be removed from America and be given their own country away from whites. “The white people have no time to make excuses for the shortcomings of the negro,” Broward wrote. “And the negro has less inclination to work for one and be directed by one he considers exacting.”
A monument of divisiveness
Resulting from these revelations the T.J. Reddick Black Bar Association, a group of African American lawyers, through its president Harold Pryor called for the statue to be removed, calling it “a monument of divisiveness.”
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, county administrator Bertha Henry and courthouse officials agreed to remove the statue.
To be removed in 2 weeks
Mayor Sharief said the statue will be removed in about two weeks after work hours and placed in storage. There are no plans for the statue after that, but some officials have suggested the statue should be placed in a museum or a library.
“This is just a piece of artwork and has nothing to do with the commission,” Sharief told the Herald Tuesday. “Complaints came in and subsequently the statue will be removed. There’s really no reason for it to be there.”
As news of the former racist governor spreads, some people have begun arguing for the county’s name be changed.
Change county’s name
“How could such a racial diverse county as Broward County, be named after a former racist governor?” Laurel Moss asked CNW. “African American and Caribbean American blacks make p very large communities in the county, and the county is named after a racist. That’s crazy. There needs to be a petition to change the county’s name.”
However, Mayor Sharief said she does not agree with changing the county’s name and such a move is not under discussion by the county commission. Any such move would be extremely difficult, but would ultimately be “up to the will of the people.”
The mayor said she discussed the removal of the statue with several people including Chief Administrative Judge Jack Tuter. Following these discussions, the decision was made to remove the statue. The statue was a gift made to the county in 1983.
Broward, served as Florida’s governor from 1905 to 1908, and he died in 1910 at age-53.