Chicago officials will use a $6.8 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to build eight new public monuments, including a monument to the more than 100 Black men who were tortured by Chicago Police officers trained by Jon Burge, a disgraced Chicago police commander.
Some organizations and governments are changing how they observe the holiday, if at all, while many still gather for the annual parade.
The commission, which was formed more than two years ago in the wake of the social justice protests and unrest that erupted after the police murder of George Floyd, also recommended that the city remove the Italo Balbo monument as well as several monuments because of the way they depict Native Americans.
In a statement released by her office, Lightfoot thanked Chicago’s Native American and Italian American communities for participating in the commission’s work, but did not address the future of the statues “regarded by many members of the Italian American community as a symbol of cultural pride” but considered “a bitter reminder of centuries of exploitation, conquest and genocide” to members of Chicago’s Native American community, according to the commission’s report.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot vowed two years ago Friday to confront the “the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history” by using the city’s public spaces to memorialize the “city’s true and complete history.” That promise remains unfulfilled, 729 days later.
Monday’s federal holiday dedicated to Christopher Columbus is highlighting the ongoing divide between those who view the explorer as a representative of Italian American history and others horrified by an annual tribute that ignores native people whose lives and culture were forever changed by colonialism.
A “racial healing and historical reckoning project” launched by Mayor Lori Lightfoot after she removed the city’s three statues of Christopher Columbus has stalled, and the statues remain in storage a year after they were wrenched from their pedestals.
Last summer, three Christopher Columbus statues were removed after violent altercations between police and protesters. For months, the sites sat empty. But last fall, a display of Italian American pride banners appeared in place of the former statue in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood.
After a summer of social unrest and calls to remove some monuments, activists are still pushing for the city to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. How some groups envision reteaching the history of Christopher Columbus.
President Donald Trump’s proclamation Friday commemorating Columbus Day veered from a typical White House holiday announcement, with stark warnings of “radical activists” seeking to tarnish the explorer’s legacy.
After protests forced Mayor Lori Lightfoot to remove the city’s statues of Christopher Columbus, the city will launch an effort to “provide a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history,” the mayor’s office announced Wednesday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the temporary removal of two Christopher Columbus statues in Chicago last week following protests that turned violent. Now, activists are hoping to make their removal permanent — but the debate isn’t over.
Chicago’s Christopher Columbus statues come down. Mayor Lightfoot and the president go toe-to-toe over federal law enforcement in Chicago. Some COVID-19 restrictions return, and baseball is back.
While some aldermen praised Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to take down the statues of Christopher Columbus, others said Friday she should not have acted unilaterally in the middle of the night.
A towering likeness of Christopher Columbus no longer stands in Chicago’s Grant Park after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered for its “temporary” removal.
With more than 300 acres in a prime downtown location, it’s no wonder Grant Park is sometimes referred to as Chicago’s front yard. But if you ask the leaders of the Grant Park Advisory Council, some yard work is in order.