Author Thomas Fellows discusses removal of Birmingham Confederate monument

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham’s removal of the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Linn Park is drawing support from an author who said Robert E. Lee had his own opinion about statues recognizing the Confederacy.

Thomas Fellows, an alumnus of Samford University, is the author of “He Spoke with Authority,” which examines the lives of different people and how they used their positions to be leaders. One aspect of the book is on Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who in his lifetime spoke out on having Confederate monuments erected.

“Let’s look at what Robert E. Lee said 150 years ago because Robert E. Lee was confident with himself and secure of himself he basically said we should not have statues erected because it would open the wounds of war and he predicted it would cause division in this country, which is has,” Fellows said.

Fellows said he believes that removing those statues can help heal the divide in the country and that Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin made the right decision to take it down following protests that turned destructive Sunday night.

“I think it absolutely helps because people just need to feel good about themselves,” he said. “If I was African American and driving to work past the monument, it would just bring back bad memories from my ancestors.”

Fellows said he plans to donate proceeds from the book for the rest of the year toward funds for a statue of George Floyd he would like to see erected in Minneapolis.


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