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These Black residents are led by an all-Black local government. But there’s still a ‘race problem.’

The all-Black board in charge of running Holmes County, one of the consistently poorest and blackest communities in the United States, didn’t have a problem voting unanimously to remove the Confederate soldier monument outside the courthouse last July.

They did, however, have a problem allocating $80,000 — the amount contractors estimated it would cost to remove it — within a paltry budget made up mostly of property taxes on the average $56,000 lot.

The statue honors the men who fought to keep roughly 12,000 Black people in Holmes County — nearly 70% of the county’s population in 1860 — enslaved.

And it’s still standing, drawing protestors Monday.

Representatives from the Freedom Democratic Party, originally co-founded by civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer in 1964, Black Lives Matter Mississippi and other activists groups gathered by the statue on a 40-degree morning, the first day of Black History Month, to demand its removal.

But the residents of Holmes County, named for Mississippi’s first governor David Holmes and built on a plantation economy, are fed up with much more than the stone sculpture.

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