Lexington’s Cheapside Park was once the largest locality for the trade of enslaved African Americans in Kentucky. For roughly 100 years, it was also home to monuments that honored two Confederate slave owners: John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan. In 2015, the Morgan statue was spray-painted with the words “Black Lives Matter,” which sparked community dialogue that questioned the relevance of Confederate statuary in the public sphere and addressed the trauma that those symbols produce. Since then, a coalition of citizens banded together to petition their local government to remove the statues and re-imagine Cheapside as a place of inclusion, edification, and healing.

 

April Taylor, Co-Owner of Wild Fig Books & Coffee in Lexington, KY - Photo by Elijah McKenzie DeBraun Thomas, Co-Founder of Take Back Cheapside - Photo by Elijah McKenzie