Closings and delays

Lawmakers propose to replace Aycock statue: Will Greensboro leaders follow?

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- House Representatives proposed a bill that would remove Gov. Charles Aycock’s statue from the National Statuary Hall and replace it with a statue of Evangelist Billy Graham.

House Bill 540 requests the approval from the Library of Congress to remove the statue.

Rep. Ralph Johnson from Guilford County said he co-signed the bill because of Aycock’s past and history as a white supremacy leader.

The discussion of whether to change the name of Aycock Middle School and remove the name outside the UNCG building has been brought up before and could continue to now that state leaders are making strides for change.

Aycock Middle School falls within the district of Guilford County School Board member Deena Hayes-Greene.

Hayes-Greene said that lawmakers and city leaders should twice before completely removing the Aycock name.

“Governor Adcock’s philosophy wasn’t just his personal feelings, that he had power as the governor to disfranchise blacks, to remove them from the political party. In a speech he gave in Baltimore in 1903, he talked about being proud of state because we've solved the negro problem by removing them from politics. That has far reaching effects to today. Some of the voting rights issues that we're dealing with, the political apathy, the economic inequity,” Hayes-Greene said. “If we don’t have those things to remind us what happened, that can help people interpret what’s going on today, I think it’s going to increase our divide, racially and inequities.”

The statue of Gov. Aycock has been in the U.S. Capitol since 1932.

The other statue that represents North Carolina is that of Confederate military officer in the American, governor of North Carolina, and U.S. Senator Zebulon Vance.