ASHEVILLE, NC (WPSA) – A task force has voted to remove the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville.
The joint task force was appointed by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in June to recommend whether to remove or repurpose the monument in Pack Square Park.
“Black and African-American residents as well as other residents of the City of Asheville and Buncombe County have issued a clear call to remove the Vance Monument due to the harm it continues to impose on our community,” said task force co-chairs Oralene Simmons and Deborah Miles.
“We hope that the removal of the Vance Monument will begin the healing process for the Black, African-American and Indigenous individuals in Asheville.”
The task force received more than 600 public comments including one from Noel Nickel, a direct descendant of the Vance family.
“Removing the monument does not erase my family’s legacy, but it does represent a small step toward repairing the harm my family legacy imposed upon this community, which I call home and I deeply love,” said Nickel. “On behalf of my family, I thank you for your work.”
The task force recommendation for removal will now to go the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council where each will vote on whether to accept the recommendation and determine the next steps for removal and funding.
The Vance Monument honors former North Carolina governor and known slave owner Zebulon Vance. The monument has been covered since early July.