Among his off-quoted lines:
--The New South is enamored of her new work. Her soul is stirred with the breath of a new life.
--I want to say to Gen. Sherman, who is considered an able man in our hearts, though some people think he is a kind of careless man about fire, that from the ashes he left us in 1864 we have raised a brave and beautiful city.
But he also said:
Simple, credulous, impulsive -- easily led and too often easily bought, is he a safer, more intelligent citizen now than then? ... Those who would put the Negro race in supremacy would work against infallible decree, for the white race can never submit to its domination, because the white race is the superior race.
In a guest column in the independent UGA student newspaper the Red & Black, Sam Jones, who graduated this year with a master's degree in journalism, writes:
If the school is going to position itself as a place that fights for the greater good and for the empowerment of unempowered voices, then the branding of the school with the name of a white supremacist is unacceptable. To be simpler: I don't want a degree I'm proud of earning to be associated with a dead racist. And neither does anyone else who values what is taught at the school.
This is not the first call to scrub the Grady moniker from an educational facade. Grady High School students submitted a petition in February asking their storied Midtown high school be renamed for journalist Ida B. Wells, who documented lynchings in the South, and civil rights attorney Donald Lee Hollowell, who challenged segregation in Atlanta and at UGA. Grady students put forth the same request in 2016 to no avail.
And, in December, the editorial board of the Signal, Georgia State University's student newspaper, urged Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to relocate the Henry Grady statue from downtown to the Atlanta History Center, saying:
Etched into his plaque are three celebratory words: "Journalist, Orator, Patriot." Let us be clear in recognizing that Grady, as a journalist, promoted racism. Grady, as an orator, promoted racism. And Grady was certainly no patriot — he was simply a racist.
By keeping Grady on a literal and figurative pedestal, we continue to celebrate a legacy that is incompatible with Atlanta's progressive character. Is this truly what "the city too busy to hate" celebrates?
Earlier pushes for a change met with resistance from some alums of Grady High and UGA who said the names of their schools were well known. The grads didn’t claim any attachment to Henry Grady, but felt an affinity with Grady High and the Grady school.
In his Red & Black column, Jones counters that UGA has a perfect replacement, writing: “We don’t have to look far for something better. Better would be celebrating the first black woman to attend UGA and the first to graduate from the journalism school: 1963 grad and award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault.”
A UGA journalism graduate says the journalism college should consider abandoning Henry Grady’s name for that of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who, along with Hamilton Holmes, in 1961 became the first African American students to enroll at UGA.
Schools and colleges are not museums or keepers of the flame. They are incubators and igniters. Names of slaveholders, Confederate generals and racist demagogues belong in history books, not over front doors of public buildings.
Yes, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication carries clout. So would the Hunter-Gault College of Journalism.