Fort Bragg became Fort Liberty nearly six months ago, but street and highway signs that direct drivers to America’s largest Army base didn’t get updated until this past month.
The N.C. Dept. of Transportation just before Thanksgiving shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, a video of the signs changing.
According to the video and NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale:
It was estimated that the removal of Confederate names from Fort Liberty and its streets and other infrastructure cost the federal government $8 million, and the renaming of military installations and apparatus nationwide was set at $62.5 million.
The name change came after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, murdered George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, while arresting him in May 2020. The murder caused a national reckoning examining police brutality and America’s treatment of racial and ethnic minority groups.
As part of this reckoning, Congress voted in 2020 and 2021 to remove from United States military bases the names of Confederate soldiers and white supremacists.
Nine American military installations in the South, plus military buildings, streets on military bases and even Naval vessels had been named in honor of the Confederacy during the 20th century in an effort to drum up support from white people in the southern United States, the Department of Defense said in January.
Fort Bragg was named in honor of Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general who was born in North Carolina and who also enslaved individuals at his sugar plantation in Louisiana.
The white supremacists who controlled the South in the late 1800s and much of the 20th century viewed the Confederates who canceled their American citizenship and made war against the United States as heroes. Through concerted efforts, these individuals passed laws and state constitutional amendments to suppress the rights of Black Americans.
Senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at 910-261-4710 and firstname.lastname@example.org.