Calls continue for Market House to be torn down in Fayetteville

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens gathered outside Fayetteville City Hall Monday night, calling for the Market House to be torn down.

Religious leaders came together, drafting a resolution they presented to city council members. 

For nearly 200 years, the Market House has stood in the center of downtown Fayetteville. At one time slaves were sold here. It’s that history that has many calling for it to be taken down.

While coronavirus kept a group from going into the council meeting, they made sure their voices were heard about the Market House issue. 

“The Market House has a history of selling slaves and we know that. A lot of us were not taught that in school. And unfortunately, when people look at that Market House, especially people of color, they remember slavery. They remember families being torn apart,” protester Toni Morris said.

The crowd said they have waited and waited, and they say now is the time for city officials to act. 

“It reminds me of a time that not necessarily I experienced, but that my ancestors experienced and that’s not something I want to be reminded of,” said protester Phillip Morris.

Local religious leaders worked together, drafting a resolution that would allow for the removal of the structure. 

Support for the removal is growing. Nearly 120,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org to do just that. 

Representatives of the group were later allowed in the meeting, reading the resolution to the Fayetteville City Council.

 “We submit a resolve for the replacing and repurposing of this Market House to be taken into your consideration,” one of the pastors said.

“We have let our politicians know that now is the time. There is change happening all across our nation. Monuments of degradation, pain and shame and slavery and Confederacy are falling all around our nation and that’s no reason it can’t fall in our own city,” Pastor Chris Stackhouse said.

The city council didn’t respond to the comments. Still, protesters called it a step forward. 

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