NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new historical statue in downtown Franklin will share how United States Colored Troops soldiers fought for their freedom.
The unveiling is happening at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in front of the historic courthouse on the square. It's free and open to the public.
That specific spot was chosen because it’s where hundreds of escaped slaves in Williamson County and surrounding areas fled to in order to enlist in the Union Army.
Organizers said the statue represents the 186,000 USCT soldiers who courageously fought for the country’s freedom and their own freedom.
The Fuller Story is the initiative behind the new statue. The group began in 2017 after a white nationalist protest rally in Virginia erupted into violence over the removal of a confederate monument.
“We hope it makes people open up their mind as their eyes are opened to images that they haven’t seen before. I’m 53 years old. I’ve never seen a statue of a United States Colored Troop in person," said Rev. Chris Williamson, a founding member of the The Fuller Story. "I’ve seen them in books. So I believe as we open our eyes and we open our minds, our hearts will be open.”
In 2019, five historic markers were installed around the city square, telling the stories of enslaved Africans and African Americans before, during and after the Civil War.
The final aspect of the plan is Saturday's unveiling of the new statue.