SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A monument dedicated to Black history is set to break ground in Spartanburg.

The corner of South Converse Street and Hudson Barksdale Boulevard, where the Mary H. Wright Greenway is, will soon be the home to a monument that stretches more than 180 feet.

The Southside Cultural Monument will highlight important moments in history for the Southside.

“So, basically it’s going to go from close to sidewalk all the way over,” said Chris George.

It’s a community that was once bustling with black-owned businesses.

“It’s really meant to highlight the history that doesn’t really exist anymore, here on the Southside,” said George.

Chris George, with the city, said the Southside Cultural Monument will be a living memory on display.

“You will have panels along that will feature images, some of them which will have come from the community, some of which we have ourselves,” he said.

“We’re going to be featuring people, places, events that are significant to African American and the wider Spartanburg community,” said Brad Steinecke.

Brad Steinecke, who is on the committee, said it will honor those who lived through slavery, the Jim Crow area, and the fight for Civil Rights.

“To have something that commemorates not only multiple people, but multiple places, multiple periods of time, but all centered around the uplifting of Spartanburg’s black community,” he said.

Rosalyn Henderson-Myers, who brought the idea to Spartanburg, says right now, there’s no vestiges of the old community.

“Give people a sense of what the Southside of Spartanburg used to look like,” said Henderson-Myers.

She said it’s important to educate the next generation.

“Showing our young people, who are growing up, of what Spartanburg used to be and showing them role models on their side of town,” she said.

Here’s a timeline of the project:

  • In 2021: received state funding
  • In 2022: received more funding
  • September 2022: construction will begin
  • November 2022: The body of the monument will be done
  • December 2022- February 2023: All the artwork and images will be done, completing the project

“We don’t like something like that for our local black community, especially this community on the Southside,” said George.

No pictures or artwork have been set in stone for the monument, but George said that $940,000 came from state funding and the rest have been from private donations.