Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue, Nashville
The Nathan Bedford Forrest statue was dedicated to pay respect for the Confederate General and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard in 1998. The statue is very cartoonish. This statue is located off of interstate 65 in Tennessee on private land. The sculptor was Jack Kershaw, who was the lawyer for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and he was connected to white supremacy groups. Kershaw wanted to show his audience the good side of Forrest. He said, “Somebody needs to say something good about slavery.”Over the years, the statue has been shot at, painted pink, and signs pointing out Forrest’s connection to white supremacy placed on it. The owner Bill Dorris kept the paint on the statue to bring more people to see the statue. Dorris got criticisms for keeping the statue up and said controversial things over the years. He would compare the statue to other ones with a racial background like the Washington monument. The local government approved to put plants around the statue. The political leaders saw the statue as a continuation of slavery but they could not do much since it was on private property. The transportation department did not approve to do this action. Dorris has passed away and the statue is still there on his property. The statue is connected to the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state’s capital and still has not been removed.
Jack Kershaw, Sculptor
Bill Dorris, owner
Bill Dorris, owner
- Alund,Natalie Neysa. and Allison, Natalie. Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue Off I-65 Painted Pink, Owner Bill Dorris Won't Repair. The Tennessean. December 27, 2017.
- Beres, Nick.Future of Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue On I-65 Still In Limbo. News Channel 5 Nashville.November 30, 2020.
- Holley, Peter. The 'Terrifying' Confederate Statue Some Tennesseans Want To Hide. Washington Post. June 25, 2015.
Silver and gold leaf-covered Sculpture
History 402A Fall 2020