The Edmund Pettus Bridge was the site of “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965, when armed officers attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators marching to Montgomery, the state capital. The National Historic Landmark (2013) is named after Pettus, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who fought for the Confederacy.
The 8-foot-6 bronze statue of actor Sylvester Stallone, as Philadelphia’s favorite fictional fighter Rocky Balboa in boxing shorts and gloves, at the Art Museum makes Sam Evans cringe. A longtime civic leader and champion of African-American causes, Evans would banish the statue if he had his way. “For what it represents, it has no place in America,” Evans said. “I think a statue should be erected to people who have achieved something. Like (one-time heavyweight boxing champions) Joe Louis or Jack Johnson.” Evans called the statue “racist” and said if it remains in the city, young people will look at it and “grow up thinking that the heavyweight champion was a white man.”
“Such things have a great impact on your mind when you’re young,” Evans said.