SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – On Friday, Spartanburg leaders broke ground on the Southside Cultural Monument, which will honor Black history in the community.
“It will be an amazing landmark that will have impact for generations to come,” said artist Jessica Scott-Felder.
At the corner of Hudson Barksdale Boulevard and South Converse Street, stakes mark the future site of the monument.
“I really do envision this as being a bridge not just in regard to memory and history, but also generationally, for students, children, and visitors of Spartanburg to experience this mural,” said Scott-Felder.
Scott-Felder said the monument will feature images, tell part of Spartanburg’s story, and honor Black leaders, business owners, and communities.
“The monument will not only highlight the achievements of the Southside but will encourage others of many diverse backgrounds to be part of this thriving community,” said Spartanburg City Councilwoman Ruth Littlejohn.
State Representative Rosalyn Henderson-Myers, who represents the 31st district, said if people look around the area right now, there aren’t many signs of what this community once looked like.
“It was a very vibrant, tight-knit community, and you see no vestiges of that right now because of urban renewal that came through,” said Rep. Henderson-Myers.
Soon, she said the monument will showcase the area’s culture and successes, and serve as a reminder for the next generation.
“It’s a rallying cry, actually, to our young folks that you can do this. You can form coalitions. You can have businesses. You can work together to do something positive not only for your community but for the city of Spartanburg,” said Henderson-Myers.
She said the monument should be finished this spring.
City leaders said the total project cost is about $1 million. The city has received $940,000 in state funding and has also received private donations.