Over the course of four days, a Change.org petition to replace a Confederate monument in Portsmouth, VA with a statue of its most celebrated native, Missy Elliott, has gathered over 16,000 signatures–about 1,000 since I started writing this post an hour ago. There is so much potential for the plaque, but so far the consensus seems to be:
Elliott would replace a generic obelisk erected to remember the several thousand Confederate soldiers from the area, 655 of whom died. But the argument made by the petition’s author Nathan Coflin is convincing. Here’s an excerpt:
Before she was “Missy Misdemeanor” she was Melissa Arnette Elliott, born on July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Hailing from humble beginnings as the only child of a power company dispatcher and a welder at Portsmouth’s lauded naval shipyard, she rose to become a platinum recording artist with over 30-million albums sold. All this without even once owning a slave.
Getting this statue put up will be a lot of work and you may ask yourself is it worth it? I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it. Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it. Let us come together in getting City Council to erect this statue in honor of Missy Elliott and all those in the great City of Portsmouth who work it each and every day. Ycamerpus Etihw!
There is dissent:
But it’s overruled by discussion of what Missy Elliott outfit would both look fly and stand the rain.