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ST. LOUIS – Efforts are underway to raise $1 million for a downtown St. Louis monument to honor the hundreds of slaves who filed lawsuits for their freedom, leading up to the landmark Dred Scott case that pushed the U.S. closer to the Civil War.

KMOX reports that the goal is to unveil the Freedom Suits Memorial in July 2021 on the east lawn of the Civil Courts Building.

In an 1857 decision on Scott’s case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that black people were not citizens and did not have the right to sue, angering anti-slavery advocates.