Black Panthers historic marker destroyed by truck in Winston-Salem

A local historic marker commemorating the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party at the intersection of East Fifth Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was hit by a truck and destroyed sometime before Christmastime.

LeAnn Pegram with the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission said a replacement has been ordered from a foundry in Ohio.

She said such accidents are not uncommon.

"That's happened with a couple other markers," Pegram said. "Especially when [the trucks] round the corner, they'll whop it."

Currently, there is only a naked post at the site, and Pegram said that typically the signs cannot be repaired when they are accidentally damaged.

Larry Little, a founder of the chapter who currently teaches at Winston-Salem State University, said he has field a couple phone calls from people in the community inquiring about the status of the sign.

"Sometimes these big trucks, they have to make a turn and they come up on the sidewalk," he said.

Erected in October 2012, the marker commemorates the Winston-Salem Black Panthers as the first chapter in a Southern city and reflects the organization's efforts to "protect African-American neighborhoods from police brutality" and to provide "community service programs, including free breakfasts for school children, sickle cell anemia testing and the Joseph Waddell People's Free Ambulance Service."

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