Kansas City Parks and Recreation was devastated with the recent hate demonstrated in the attempted destruction of the Levi Harrington historical marker. This was more than an act of vandalism; it was an intentional attempt to eliminate a very important piece of our history. In our attempt to demonstrate that this hate and disrespect would not be tolerated, the Parks Department unilaterally re-installed the marker even though it was still badly damaged. However, in working with our partners at the Community Remembrance Project (CRP-MO) and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), we realize that due respect for the marker requires an inclusive process before taking action. The Levi Harrington marker belongs to this community and we will work closely with CRP to ensure the safety and the sanctity of the marker.
A statement from the CRP expresses the importance of not only this marker, but the whole Community Remembrance Project. We are committed to coordinating the removal of the damaged marker and the appropriate recognition and ceremony to replace the Levi Harrington Memorial to re-establish our commitment to sharing the truth.
KC Parks crews will remove the marker on Friday and take the damaged Levi Harrington Memorial Marker to The Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center where it will be stored. A new Memorial Marker is ordered and will be installed when it arrives.
Photo Credit: Chris Goode, Instagram