Atlanta’s Grady Stadium gets a new name

The Atlanta school board on Monday voted to rename Grady Stadium. JOHN SPINK/AJC FILE PHOTO
The Atlanta school board on Monday voted to rename Grady Stadium. JOHN SPINK/AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Atlanta Public Schools will cut its last honorary link to Henry W. Grady by renaming the football stadium in Midtown that bears his name.

The school board on Monday unanimously approved changing the name of Grady Stadium to Eddie S. Henderson Stadium.

The board in December voted to drop Grady’s name from the nearby high school and instead call it Midtown High School. The new names for both the school and stadium will take effect in the next school year.

The decisions are part of a broader APS effort to remove names of historical figures who held racist views from district buildings.

Grady, a managing editor of The Atlanta Constitution who died in 1889, spoke about the supremacy of the white race while promoting his vision for a “New South.”

The stadium’s new name pays tribute to Henderson, an Atlanta principal, coach and athletic director who died in 2001. The athletic field at the stadium already bears his name. Henderson was the first African American in Georgia to complete the requirements to be a certified athletic director, according to APS.

Eddie Henderson Jr. told the board Monday that said his father spent three decades working for APS. He started at Grady High School, served as principal of the former Archer High School in Atlanta, and and became the district’s athletic director.

He worked to make sure practice fields were lighted and safe for student-athletes, his son said.

”He also made innovative changes for APS, fighting for Title IX, to make sure there was equal funding for all genders in sports and athletics,” said Henderson.

Board member Michelle Olympiadis, who neighborhoods near Grady High School, led the committee that recommended the new name.

“We are very excited that we will be moving forward with Coach Henderson,” she said.

The board previously agreed to change the name of Brown Middle School and is considering renaming Forrest Hill Academy, an alternative school in southwest Atlanta.

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