Activists Push to Remove Mural of Men Picking Cotton From Iconic FW Building - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Activists Push to Remove Mural of Men Picking Cotton From Iconic FW Building

Activists push to remove part of mural atop Will Rogers Memorial Center

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    Activists Push to Remove Mural From Iconic Building

    Some activists are pushing the city of Fort Worth to remove part of a mural on the Will Rogers Memorial Center that depicts two African-American men picking cotton. (Published Friday, Aug. 9, 2019)

    Some activists are pushing the city of Fort Worth to remove part of a mural on the Will Rogers Memorial Center that depicts two African-American men picking cotton.

    "People got to know because I don't even think a lot of people know that's up there," said barber and lifelong Fort Worth resident Roger Foggle.

    He happened to pass by the iconic building recently and couldn't believe his eyes.

    "When I looked up and seen that, I had to take my glasses off," he said. "I was like, 'No, that's right.'"

    He raised the issue with a friend, community activist Rev. Kyev Tatum.

    "We are working dutifully and diligently to become the best big city in America," Tatum said. "Well you can't become that with these vestiges of slavery still prominently displayed on one of your landmark facilities."

    And now, as the issue gains some traction on social media, some citizens like property investor Zac Thompson are pushing the city to remove the image.

    "It's certainly a reflection of our history but I don't think it's part of our history that we ought to memorialize," Thompson said. "I realize it's going to be challenging and difficult. The mural has been up for a long time. But I trust the leadership and I believe if this is important to them, they'll take it down."

    For now, the issue has received little or no attention from city leaders.

    Asked about the mural, a city spokeswoman said she didn't believe City Hall had received any formal complaints and offered historic details of the artwork.

    Made of nine-inch ceramic tiles, the mural went up the same year as the building -- 1936.

    It celebrates the first 100 years of Texas by tracing the settlement and industrial development of the West.

    Foggle said the city should replace the picture with a more positive image.

    "Put some great pictures of what black people are doing today," he suggested.

    "We're doing great things. We just had a president."