Washington Cathedral to Install Racial Justice-Themed Stained Glass


The west facade of the Washington National Cathedral is pictured from the damaged main tower after an earthquake on August 24, 2011. REUTERS / Jason Reed

September 23 (Reuters) – The Washington National Cathedral is replacing stained glass windows featuring Confederate symbols with racial justice-themed pieces in an exhibit created by two black American artists, the site said Thursday.

The announcement of the second-largest cathedral in the United States comes a day after Richmond, Va. Unveiled a new monument commemorating the end of slavery after it brought down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that sparked protests against racial injustice. Read more

Lee was also featured in stained glass windows that the cathedral removed in September 2017, following white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Read more

The showcases depicting Lee and Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson “did nothing to remedy the reality and the painful legacy of America’s original sin of slavery and racism,” the Reverend said. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of the Cathedral.

New windows created by artist Kerry James Marshall, a black American, will aim “to share a new and more complete story, to tell the truth about our past and to uplift who we aspire to be as a nation,” he said. Hollerith said.

The “racial justice-themed” windows are expected to be completed in 2023 and installed permanently, a cathedral spokesperson said.

The cathedral also announced that Elizabeth Alexander, a black poet who spoke at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, will write a new piece “which will be inscribed on stone tablets next to the window installation. of Marshall, covering the ancient stone tablets that worshiped the lives of Confederate soldiers. . “

Works of art including statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy, the pro-slavery group from the Southern states that seceded from the United States and fought in the Civil War of 1861-65, have become the target of protests against racism.

Earlier this month, in front of a jubilant crowd in Richmond, Va., The Confederate capital during the war, a towering statue of Lee was shot down. His withdrawal was promised by the governor in June 2020, days after George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis, triggering nationwide protests. Read more

Another statue of Lee was shot down in Charlottesville in July, nearly four years after protests by white supremacists over plans to remove it led to clashes in which a woman was run over by a car and killed. Read more

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Richard Chang

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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