Just days after the small town of Stamps, Ark. elected its first African-American mayor, two of its Black history monuments were stolen, locals say.
Part of the town’s rich history is now missing after not one, but two historical tributes were stolen from Maya Angelou Memorial Park the weekend after Mayor Brenda Davis was voted into office, NBC affiliate KARK reported. Stamps was Angelou’s childhood home.
“I wish she was here,” Davis said of the renowned poet and author. “I wish she was here to witness this.”
The new mayor said she went into work Monday, Oct. 23, and the chief of police delivered the bad news. Taken from the park was a placard bearing Angelou’s name along with a bronze bust honoring three African-American men who served in the state legislature after the Civil War, according to the news station. The bust itself is worth about $2,500.
Davis said the news brought tears to her eyes. While she’s unsure if the theft was racially motivated, a local who lives across the street from the park has no doubt in her mind that race had something to do with it.
“As soon as [Davis] got elected, it happened,” resident Lexi Fuller said. “It’s just not right at all.”
The Arkansas Historic Commission has since agreed to replace the stolen bust, which is expected to be ready by January 2018, KARK reported. There’s no word on what will be done to replace the wooden placard.
As for Davis, the mayor said she’s ready to put the incident behind her.
“Replacing it, moving on,” she told the news station. “Not letting this get the best of us.”