MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama congresswoman said Monday it is time to end a state holiday celebrating the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.
Representative Terri Sewell’s comments, made on social media, came on the holiday itself amid protests in Alabama and elsewhere over the death of an African American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
“The protests we’ve seen may have been sparked by George Floyd’s murder, but our nation’s racial divide is long and wide,” Sewell wrote hours after demonstrators damaged a Confederate monument in Birmingham and toppled a statue honoring a Confederate naval officer.
Alabama has three state holidays celebrating the old Confederacy. Davis’ birthday is marked in June, and the state simultaneously celebrates Confederate General Robert E. Lee with civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. in January. The state also marks Confederate Memorial Day in April.
Sewell is the lone Democrat in Alabama’s congressional delegation.