Citizen blasts Hillsborough County Commission as "appalling" after recognizing Robert E. Lee's birthday by Mitch E. Perry

01/18/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday

An African-American attorney criticized  Hillsborough County commissioners this morning for publicly recognizing Robert E. Lee’s bicentennial birthday before honoring local community activist James A. Hammond, who is black.

The commission meeting began this morning with a public ceremony honoring local members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Daughters of the .

That was followed up by the Commission honoring James Hammond, who has been involved with the NAACP, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and Greater Tampa Urban League.

The irony was not lost on Clinton Paris (roll tape#1o.q.”as they are”)

The 77 year old Hammond started the first preschool in the Hillsborough County School District when he served as commissioner of community relations for the city of Tampa.

Hammond also started the Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan in 1986, which brought social and economic services to targeted communities.  And he was considered a crucial figures in fostering race relations in the 1960’s.

Because of that impressive record, , citizen Clinton Paris said it was insult to him, and to County Commissioner Kevin White and County Attorney Renee Lee, both Black,  that the County honor Hammond after first honoring Robert E. Lee, who this Friday will mark his 200th birthday (roll tape#2 o.q.”  embarrassed for what you did…thank you”)

Currently an elementary school named after Hammond is being built in Keystone in Hillsborough County.  


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