‘That’s a slap in the face of the black people.’ Protesters gather calling for the removal of Louisville slave market

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 1:42 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The city of Louisville has approved to move the slave market, but protesters gathered downtown, saying moving it is simply not enough. James Ivery, the protest organizer, says the area hosts dark memories for him.

“I saw this thing at the age of 4. It looked like something you could come up here and play with. And I asked her, ‘can I go up there and play’ and she said no,” said Ivery. “And I said, ‘why big mama?’ She said, ‘that’s where they used to sell colored people.’ And that thing stuck in my mind from that day to this one.”

Ivery says the city has four weeks to get rid of the structure before protesters will begin a boycott in Jefferson County.

“If they don’t move it in a timely manner, we will be having a boycott of this whole county. And no money will move in this county until this thing is gone,” said Ivery.

The city anticipates legal hurdles due to the fact the market house is a registered national historic place.

“It’s not erasing history. They want to hold on to the past, and we’re trying to move forward. This is a disgrace,” says protester and president of the Washington County NAACP, James Neal.

Those at the protest say they won’t hesitate to start the boycott given the history of the structure. They say relocating it is not a solution.

“That’s a slap in the face of the black people in this community and that’s not going to happen. Period,” said Ivery.

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