Posted on February 7, 2022

Statue of Racist Ex-Gov. Bilbo Quietly Moved in Mississippi

Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press, February 3, 2022

A statue of white supremacist former Mississippi Gov. Theodore Bilbo has quietly been moved out of sight in the state Capitol — a move praised by Black lawmakers who say he never deserved a place of prominence.

Bilbo was a Democrat who blasted racist rhetoric. He was governor for the 1916-20 and 1928-32 terms and was in the U.S. Senate from 1935 until his death in 1947.

The bronze statue of Bilbo stood prominently at the center of the state Capitol for decades. After the building underwent extensive renovations in the 1980s, the statue was moved to a first-floor committee room.

Democratic Rep. Kabir Karriem, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, said its lingering presence was “very offensive” in a state where nearly 40% of residents are Black.

Legislators have been meeting since early January, and it’s only in recent days that people have begun noticing Bilbo was nowhere in sight.

The statue is approximately life-sized, at 5 feet, 2 inches (158 centimeters). I{snip}

House Speaker Philip Gunn said he was unaware the statue had been moved until Thursday, when someone asked him about it. He said he does not know where it is.


In the summer of 2020, Mississippi legislators voted to retire the last state flag in the U.S. that prominently featured the Confederate battle emblem. {snip}


The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus often meets in the room where the Bilbo statue stood.