Opinion: It Is Time To Face Confederate Monument Mythology

Jul 1, 2020

*Editor's note: The following commentary is published as submitted and reflects the views of the author and not necessarily Georgia Public Broadcasting as an organization.

This past week, modern technology let me virtually participate as workers dismantled and hauled off for storage the obelisk on the Decatur Square that has honored "the lost cause of the Confederacy” for over 100 years.

Ron Harris / AP Photo

Monday on Political Rewind, Confederate monuments across America have become a flash point during ongoing protests over police brutality and systemic racism.

Central to the issue is a disagreement about what monuments to the Confederacy represent: history or mythology?

The Associated Press

The long fight to remove a Confederate monument in Decatur, Georgia, came to an end this month. The 30-foot-tall structure that stood in the city's square since 1908 was taken down. Meanwhile, there is a push to put up a marker near where the Confederate monument once stood. This marker would honor a long, overlooked piece of Civil Rights history

Screenshot courtesy of Clare Schexnyder

The 30-foot-tall Confederate monument that stood in the Decatur square since 1908 was removed Thursday night to raucous cheers from hundreds of people who had gathered to watch and celebrate.

The symbolism of the monument’s removal on the eve of Juneteenth – the annual day celebrating when slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865 – was not lost on the crowd.

Dan Whisenhunt/Decaturish

Around 1,500 protesters gathered outside a Confederate monument in Decatur, Georgia, as demonstrations continued throughout the state against racism, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd.

The march started Wednesday afternoon in Decatur Square, home to a Confederate monument built in 1908 and a “contextualized” marker explaining the racist history of the monument and the Civil War.

AP Photo, file

On this day 60 years ago, a black man driving a white woman was pulled over in a traffic stop that would change the course of American history. 

Courtesy of @Mudfire / Instagram

A local ceramics and pottery studio is bringing glazes, kilns and pottery wheels to the virtual world starting April 17.

Jade Abdul-Malik / GPB News

The Oakhurst neighborhood’s first black-owned bookstore is celebrating its first year of business and it all started with owner Bunnie Hillard’s children. 

A former Georgia police officer who fatally shot an unarmed, naked man was found not guilty of murder Monday but was convicted of aggravated assault and other charges that could send him to prison for more than 30 years.

A police officer responding to a call of a naked man behaving erratically at an Atlanta-area apartment complex arrived on the scene, exited his vehicle and shot the man almost immediately.

Now a jury must decide if he's guilty of murder.

Georgia was once a leader in the oyster canning business, but the last cannery closed in the 1960s.

In the past few years, however, a group of people have helped revive the Georgia oyster — through farming. 

André Gallant, author of A High Low Tide: The Revival of a Southern Oysterjoined us with more on the past, present and future of Georgia's oyster industry.

Bryan Rackely, co-owner of Kimball House — a Decatur restaurant where Georgia oysters are now on the menu —  also joined the conversation about these briny bivalves. 

Flickr/Rolf Venema

'Tis the season for giving and figuring out what to give people. May we suggest books? They're personal, easy to wrap and great stocking stuffers.

"On Second Thought" invited a group of Georgia independent bookstore owners to give through their recommendations for a spectrum of readers. 

Jessica Osborne from E Shaver in Savannah, Janet Geddis from Avid Bookshop in Athens and Charles Robinson from Eagle Eye Bookshop in Decatur all joined the conversation.

What's In A Name? | Wash Lively Circle

Aug 20, 2018

This “What’s In A Name” was submitted by Liz Hill and was answered with the help of Fred Mobley at the DeKalb History Center.

The name in question is Wash Lively Circle, a road located on the campus of Dekalb Medical Center in Deactur.

Wikimedia Commons

You may be used to navigating through Atlanta's 15 streets named Peachtree, but another road's name has been confusing locals for years. As listener Jean Smith wonders, “Why is there a difference in the spelling of Clairemont Avenue and Clairmont Road?"

Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The centuries old art of busking — or performing in public places for tips — is currently encouraged in Decatur.

The city is trying out a program that makes it easy to get a permit and take art and music to the streets.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

On this episode of “Two Way Street,” we’re reairing our conversion with Country legend, Bill Anderson.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Last month, the DeKalb County Commission voted to relocate the Confederate monument in Decatur Square. But state law is tricky, and the county’s options are limited. What is the process for getting a monument successfully taken down? What legal barriers will make the effort difficult? We ask these questions with Elena Parent, state Senator for Decatur.

Keith Hadley/AJC Staff / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Last month, the DeKalb County Commission voted to relocate the Confederate monument in Decatur Square. But state law is tricky, and the county’s options are limited. What is the process for getting a monument successfully taken down? What legal barriers will make the effort difficult?

Stephen Fowler / GPB

The DeKalb County Commission has voted to move a Confederate monument from the square in Downtown Decatur.

The 30-foot obelisk has been the subject of renewed debate following an anti-racist rally in Charlottesville, Va. last August where one woman was killed.

Wikimedia Commons

Finding your true calling can take years, even decades. Children’s book author Christopher Paul Curtis found his calling in his 40s. After spending more than a decade working at a Detroit car factory, he began writing young adult fiction about the African-American experience. He was the first American man to win the Newbery Medal literary prize. 

Cliff Owen / AP Photo

On this edition of "Political Rewind," Democrats finally have something to cheer about, chalking up important victories in Virginia and New Jersey while, in Georgia, Dems cut into the dominant GOP majority in the legislatures. The Atlanta mayor’s race heads into a runoff and once again city voters are confronted by a contest divided on racial lines.

Decatur Parents Debate Over Transgender School Policy

Nov 2, 2017
Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A debate is unfolding in City of Decatur schools about transgender rights. At a September school board meeting, a parents’ group criticized a policy protecting transgender students in Decatur. Those parents have launched a petition to rescind the policy, put in place by Superintendent David Dude last year. Vernadette Broyles is an attorney representing the parents in the petition.