Majority At Meeting Say Return Parks To Confederate Names

April 2, 2013
by George Brown

(Memphis) Monday night, a committee charged with deciding the permanent names of three city parks sat and listened to anyone who wanted to give their opinion.

The conversation was whether the three parks, once named after Confederates in the Civil War, should or shouldn’t be allowed to keep their names.

More than 40 people gave their input, some with simple points while ohers looked at history, and a few traded jabs.

“Our history is just as valuable and important as your history,” one man said.

“Your history?” a woman asked.  “It’s our collective history.”

Whatever it is, the city is riled up.

With school budgets in turmoil, crime and blight around so many corners, and mega employers taking off for better places, several asked if this is what we choose to get angry about?

“My God, we can’t even take care of the puppies and kittens in animal center. We don’t have money,” a resident pointed out.

City Council member Harold Collins said the issue will come down to money, perhaps a hint to where the committee stands, “Whatever we recommend there’s going to be a fiscal part to it. There’s going to be changes that are going to have to be made, it’s going to cost money.”

There would be no cost if the committee chose to return the parks to their former names Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park.

The current park names, Health Sciences Park, Memphis Park and Mississippi River Park are said to be temporary.

Previously, the leader of the Memphis chapter of the NAACP said he believed the park names should not have been changed.

A recent proposal would have more history about the Civil War added to the parks rather than have them stripped.

Copyright © 2013, WREG

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