Visitors explore Stone Mountain Park on February 16, 2018. The NAACP DeKalb County Branch is recommending removing Confederate symbols at the park but not the controversial sculpture on the mountain. SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: JOHN SPINK / AJC/JOHN SPINK / AJC
Photo: JOHN SPINK / AJC/JOHN SPINK / AJC

DeKalb NAACP backs removing Confederate symbols at Stone Mountain but not the sculpture

The NAACP DeKalb County Branch is out with a list of recommendations for Stone Mountain Park, but removing the massive relief sculpture of Confederate generals is not among them.

Getting rid of the carving would be too controversial and costly now but could be revisited later, the NAACP said. Instead, its members are pushing other changes they say carry a manageable price tag. 

VIDEO: Previous coverage on this issue

The proposal would allow local community members to decide whether monuments should remain on their grounds

The NAACP’s recommendations are:

  • Change Confederate-named streets at the park
  • Stop referring to Stone Mountain Park as a memorial to the Confederacy
  • Modify the Historic Square to remove references to a plantation
  • Remove all antebellum references and symbols at the park

These changes would likely require the General Assembly to reverse current laws prohibiting removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association that oversees park operations would also have to sign off.

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond, who serves on the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, has backed making changes to the park to supply more context to its Confederate symbolism. State Sen. Emanuel Jones is pushing a proposal to build a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. on the mountain’s summit.

Read the NAACP's news release

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