Three parks in the Memphis area with names connected to the Confederacy were given temporary generic names Tuesday until the city council figures out a solution.
Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate, and Jefferson Davis parks were renamed after two state legislators filed a bill that would prevent renaming any park or other public green space that is named in honor of a historic military figure, event, or organization, My Fox Memphis reports.
The city removed a marker from Nathan Bedford Forrest Park in January that was privately paid for by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans.
Resolutions had been filed to rename the park named after Forrest, a Confederate cavalryman and former slave trader who was a member of the early Ku Klux Klan, but he council was planning on vetting the issue first. Instead, a decision was made abruptly Tuesday evening to rename the parks because of the bill filed by state legislators, My Fox reports.
“I don’t care if the name is Nathan Bedford Forrest, he’s a dead man,” said Councilman Harold Collins. “We need to be focusing on the living. But except for that, I’m going to vote for this and who knows, we may come back and name the park Nathan Bedford Forrest. But we will never let the legislature in Nashville control what we in Memphis do for our city.”
“We should cherish the history that we have,” Becky Muska, who spoke against the name change, told Fox News. “We shouldn’t cover it up and try to bury it or hide it.”
The resolution changes the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park to Health Sciences Park; Confederate Park to Memphis Park; and Jefferson Davis Park to Mississippi River Park, My Fox reports.
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Jessica Chasmar is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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