The National Cathedral has installed two “racial justice” themed stained-glass windows to replace ones that honored Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
The new windows, created by artist Kerry James Marshall, feature protesters holding signs that read “Fairness” and “No Foul Play.”
Titled “Now and Forever,” the windows were unveiled on Saturday.
Fabulous unveiling today at National Cathedral of glorious “Now & Forever Windows” by Birmingham native Kerry James Marshall depicting resilience of African Americans & nation’s struggle with racism. Accompanied by powerful original poem by Elizabeth Alexander, “American Song.” pic.twitter.com/4boa7Mz7l3
— Leslie Proll (@LeslieProll) September 23, 2023
According to a report from NPR, “The new windows ‘lift up the values of justice and fairness and the ongoing struggle for equality among all God’s great children,’ the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the cathedral’s dean, said on Saturday at the unveiling.”
Rev. Hollerith said that the previous windows “were offensive and they were a barrier to the ministry of this cathedral and they were antithetical to our call to be a house of prayer for all people.”
“They told a false narrative extolling two individuals who fought to keep the institution of slavery alive in this country,” he continued.
The windows honoring the Confederate generals were installed in 1953. They were taken down in 2017.
“In 2021, the cathedral selected Kerry James Marshall as the artist tasked with creating racial justice-themed windows,” the NPR report explains. “Marshall, whose paintings have been at the Met, the National Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, has devoted his career illustrating Black lives and Black culture on canvas.”