NAACP begins effort to remove Confederate statue from Hamilton County Courthouse

The Chattanooga chapter of the NAACP has begun an effort to remove a Confederate statue from the front of the Hamilton County Courthouse.

The move comes after a number of similar efforts in the country in the last few years.

NAACP Chattanooga President Elenora Woods, said Wednesday the group plans to write letters to local leaders asking for the statue of Alexander P. Stewart, a Confederate lieutenant general, to be moved.

"We are trying to get collective support," Woods said. "We are going to ask [officials] to join us, so this will be more of a community effort versus an antagonistic, us-against-them kind of thing."

Attempts Wednesday to contact the Tennessee NAACP office for comment were not successful.

The statue is a painful reminder of the history of blacks, Woods said, adding that monuments like Stewart's were erected during the Jim Crow era - it was unveiled in 1919 - when the Confederacy was glorified.

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