Published on: Thursday, December 23, 2021

A controversial symbol is being removed from a landscape of Memphis. President Biden signed a bill into law yesterday that will remove the name of Clifford Davis from the Federal Courthouse Downtown (article available here). 

Davis was a judge in the 1920’s and in the 1940’s became a U.S. Congressman representing Memphis. He was also a segregationist and member of the Ku Klux Klan. Davis was a strong proponent of Jim Crow laws and often touted one of his favorite slogans, "Keep Memphis down in Dixie."

The building is currently named the Clifford Davis-Odell Horton Federal Building. The current U.S. Congressman from Memphis sponsored a bill to remove Davis’ name. The bill passed congress with bipartisan support 

The building will now be named exclusively for Odell Horton, the first Black federal judge in western Tennessee. 

Another symbol of racism was removed from Memphis four years ago. The statue of Confederate army general Nathan Bedford Forrest was hauled away from Health Sciences Park in the Medical District in December of 2017.