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Senators Gregory, Jackson hold press conference on Robert Smalls monument

Robert Smalls

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Senator Greg Gregory and Senator Darrell Jackson held a press conference Wednesday at the South Carolina Statehouse proposing a new monument honoring Robert Smalls.

Robert Smalls was an escaped slave from Beaufort, South Carolina who later became known as a Civil War hero and congressman. Smalls has a decorated legacy that the Senators say needs to be honored with a monument.

Senators Jackson and Gregory say that this is not a solution to the debate on confederate monuments but a move in the right direction for the issue.

"History is not always good, Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's ugly. But it's history and it's important for us to tell the whole story...it's always more important to build up than to tear down...and i'm here today because I want to build something," said Senator Darrell Jackson.

Michael B. Moore, Robert Smalls great-great grandson attended the press conference. Moore says that this proposal could significantly benefit people throughout the state.

"It's a complicated political conversation that we're having. And I think for now having an oppurutnity to introduce other folks to other African Americans who made tremendous contributions I think that's a good thing...to see someone that looks like them potentially on the statehouse grounds. I think that sends a wonderful message that will inspire and uplift a ton of people," said Michael B. Moore.

This would be the first stand-alone monument of an African-American figure on the Statehouse grounds. Currently, there is a monument that honors African-Americans at the Statehouse. The senators are pushing for more representation and inclusiveness of history on the grounds.

There hasn't been a final decision made on the proposal of this new monument honoring Robert Smalls. This proposal will be discussed when the legislative session starts back next January.

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