CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina)- The Clemson city council voted Monday to unanimously to support a proposal that calls for the renaming of a pedestrian overpass bridge located on Tiger Boulevard after a historic figure.
A sample draft of a resolution states the Men of Color Having Answers (M.O.C.H.A) foundation has requested that the bridge be named after Nancy Washington Legree.
According to the proposed resolution, Legree was a first generation African slave at Fort Hill plantation. The resolution also says that the slaves who occupied Fort Hill have almost no written history and the bridge would serve to protect African American history for future generations.
The proposed resolution does not officially change the bridge's name, but it would support M.O.C.H.A's request to the South Carolina Department of Transportation to do so.
According to the university website, she was one of a group that slaves that took care of the Fort Hill plantation.
The leader of the organization MOCHA says he's hoping that this move is replicated in cities across the county.
He believes that instead of fighting for the removal of monuments, he's encouraging community leaders across the nation to start movements to honor African American ancestors in ways like this.
Nancy Washington Legree once lived and worked at the plantation that is now a museum on the Clemson University campus.
She worked under confederate solider and slave master Thomas Green Clemson.
Andrew Peppers, founder of MOCHA says, "we are asking that America, not only Clemson, South Carolina, but America will do this. Take this opportunity to add to history because unfortunately we can’t go back and correct things that were done wrong in the past."
Andrew started this organization MOCHA, Men of Color Having Answers, to solve issues plaguing the black community.
"It is up to us to be creative, to introduce new ideas and that’s where the idea came in from the MOCHA foundation. We wish to pioneer new mentality. A new way of thinking, which is that we can add to history without having to subtract. I could fight with you for 10 years or more over a monument or statue that’s probably never going to be removed or I can inspire the people that I am able to reach to create & innovate. Things such as that to honor and also respects our ancestors."
Ancestors like Nancy. He says he picked a landmark that was unnamed, but well known.
Peppers says, "this bridge has been here for almost a century and it has sentimental value to the people here in the neighborhood."
"We hear stories all around America every day where people are fighting for removal. There is no resolve. There is no middle ground, but with this new mentality and this new way of thinking from the mocha foundation, which is inclusive to all, we truly do believe that America can heal if we open the doors of opportunity," Peppers says.
He believes that people should "help those secure their history, that they had no part in, but we also open the doors of opportunity I think that would change a lot of things." He is talking about more opportunities
Council will vote on Monday.
Not only is the number one football team here, but city council leadership a1. So we are thankful for them.
Andrew says that her birth certificate shows that she worked past 100 years old and that the resilience of his ancestors is one of the motivators for the causes that his organization is fighting for.
Pepper says, "she was one of the first place enslaved at the Fort Hill plantation here in Clemson, South Carolina. She lives to be over 100 years old. What I found fascinating about her was that, she worked until one week before her death, which is stated on her death certificate so all of the time that I am feeling down and I’m feeling that I can’t make it happen. I think about her and I think about her working until she is 106 years old. There is nothing that I have to complain about."
Clemson's website says, "Life at fort hill, and all of its financial growth, was only possible because of the physical labor and sheer determination of the enslaved African Americans who toiled on the 450 acre cultivated land, producing maintaining the household, and performing construction of the plantation.