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The Larkspur City Council on Wednesday discussed the future of a sculpture of Sir Francis Drake that was removed a week earlier from the Larkspur ferry terminal, but the council did not reach a decision.
Some community members who spoke during the meeting said the sculpture, created in 1990, is a racist symbol because of Drake’s history as the captain of slave ships, while others said the stark 30-foot-tall figure should be put back up.
Community member Stefanie Graeter advocated for amplifying the voices of Indigenous people instead of Drake because they were there long before he is said to have visited the area in the 16th century. But others said Drake’s journeys deserved commemoration.
Brandon Johnson, who attended Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo and now works at Redwood High School in Larkspur, said he was hurt by the suggestion of putting the statue back up. He called on the council to be anti-racist and stow the statue.
In a separate process, the Tamalpais Union High School District, which includes both Sir Francis Drake and Redwood, as well as two other schools and an additional program, is considering renaming Sir Francis Drake High School.
Other local spots named for the English pirate include Drakes Bay on Point Reyes and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, which extends from San Quentin State Prison to the end of Point Reyes.