Comedian Roy Wood Jr. joined “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Wednesday to talk about being back in Birmingham and the removal of the Confederate monument from Linn Park.
The comedian, who grew up in Birmingham, returned home from New York. During the segment, he told Fallon that he and his family stayed in New York for as long as they could before they made the decision a few weeks ago to drive 16 hours to wait out the nationwide coronavirus stay-at-home orders in Alabama.
“So, that’s where we are now. Good ol’ Birmingham,” he told the late night host.
When Fallon asked him about life in Alabama over the past few weeks, Wood said recent events in the city have reminded him about the state’s sense of community, including the protest for justice in Birmingham at Kelly Ingram Parkin the civil rights district and demonstrators’ efforts later that evening to remove the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument from Linn Park.
“This is where Birmingham, to me, is just such a different place to be from,” said Wood, explaining that the city is rich with justice and people trying to fight for it.
“So, everybody is at the park for the peaceful protest. And a good friend of mine — comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson — he says to the crowd, “While we’re down here, why don’t we try to take down that Confederate monument over there” playfully summarizing Johnson’s Sunday afternoon call for protesters to join him in the park at 7:30 p.m. to tear down the 52-foot-tall stone structure.
“So, this is how ready Birmingham is to be done with racism,” Wood said. “Somebody in downtown Birmingham pulled up in a pickup truck with a rope and tried to pull down a million-ton Confederate monument…with a pickup truck! That’s how tired we are,” Wood exclaimed as Fallon laughed. “It didn’t work…It didn’t work.”