“My great-grandfather fought in the civil war. Please, make one of your most important contributions of the year--now. Of all the Confederate monuments under fire, the 1,700-foot high outcropping of granite with carvings of Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis is—by far—the largest. King himself included Stone Mountain in his most famous speech, I Have a Dream. Shortly therafter the UDC ran out of money and the sculpture was shelved, In 1958, the state of Georgia bought Stone Mountain in order to create a Confederate memorial park, In 1963, the state resumed work on the Confederate sculpture – the same year Dr Martin Luther King proclaimed in his famous I Have A Dream speech, “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!”, Work continued on the sculpture through the 1960s, even as Atlanta emerged as a centre of the civil rights movement, The sculpture was unveiled in 1970, and in recent years a laser light show has been projected on to the face. The Stone Mountain carving is a monument to men who fought to defend slavery and white supremacy. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an organization that staunchly defends Stone Mountain and other Confederate statues and emblems. Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives and the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018, declared during her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign that the granite carving is “a blight on our state” and called for its removal. While thousands have called for the monument’s removal, experts from the Atlanta Geological Society say, it would cost millions to obliterate the carving with explosives due to its size and location. Ideally, they should be removed by state and local governments, not demonstrators; if governments remove them, rather than protestors, society's … An estimated 400 - 1000 armed black panthers marching. We need you. Not until the establishment desegregated in the 1960s, after a sit-in that included King, did Brown, then in her twenties, step foot inside. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. Twitter: "Let the party of personal responsibility take some. Thank you. Stone Mountain Park has since grown to become Georgia’s most popular tourist destination, with approximately four million visitors annually, In 2017, calls came for the memorial to be removed after a white supremacist killed a woman, Heather Heyer, at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, sparking a national movement to rid the country of Confederate monuments. Families visiting the park, which is Georgia’s most popular tourist attraction, come here to picnic on the grand lawn and gaze up at the show, which is projected directly on to Stone Mountain’s Confederate monument. “I wanted to go in there and eat so bad. And it didn’t end there. It is the biggest Confederate monument in the US – civil war leaders hewn into Atlanta’s Stone Mountain. But we think the most important part of our mission is to inspire—and so we work hard to bring you the voices of visionaries who dream about how the world should be. As a movement grows to remove Confederate symbols across the US – including tearing down statues and lowering Confederate flags from state facilities – fresh attention is being paid to the biggest Confederate monument of all. The Georgia code says the Confederate memorial should be “preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.” Stone Mountain Ku Klux Klan rally. Stone Mountain ist ein großer Granitfels bei Stone Mountain, Georgia, einem Vorort von Atlanta. Some of the white tourists on a recent visit agreed with Thurmond, including Margie Legg, 67, visiting her daughter from Maryland. Michael Thurmond is the first and only African American on the board of Stone Mountain Parks, as well as the CEO of DeKalb County, where the carving stands. It is also a huge tourist draw, hosting a laser light show and 100ft flame cannons. Confederate figures carved in Stone Mountain. As recently as 2015 – even before President Donald Trump invited white nationalists to the White House, and failed to condemn white nationalists in Charlottesville – a pro-Confederate flag rally at Stone Mountain drew hundreds of people. “What’s the point? The park officially opened to the public on April 14, 1965 — the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The Black militia is calling for the removal of the Confederate monument etched into Stone Mountain, GA. “It can serve as a kind of reminder about the folly of humanity and our ability to be deceived – to be so clueless as to create this kind of memorial to a cause that was clearly unjust.”, Guardian Cities is live in Atlanta for a special series of in-depth reporting. Please—no amount is too large or too small—pitch in to support our people-powered model and help Common Dreams start 2021 at full strength. We want the world to be a better place. Stone Mountain Park features a Confederate Memorial carving depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis. “But the day they passed the bill that I could go in, I dressed up my daughter and I went to the Magnolia Room and I sat in there and ate. Indeed, not all prominent black politicians and activists agree about the monument. She calls it a reminder of her life, of her family’s history in the south, of her experience as an African American woman – and a sign of history that should not be erased. Our Mission:To inform. To Win Georgia and the Senate, Democrats Need to Go All-In on $15 Minimum Wage, Wanna Win Georgia, Democrats? Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South’s most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact. Our End-of-Year Campaign Ends TONIGHT And We Are Short $18,000, Our journalists work hard to inform by bringing you the news that matters - which is often about how the world is. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder, Support Independent Journalism. Removing the monument would take a lot of dynamite and require a change in state law. We don't want advertising dollars. Your generosity is crucial to our survival. “[T]he visible image of Stone Mountain's edifice remains a blight on our state and should be removed.”. The scale of the monument, which was only finished in 1972, probably can’t be fully appreciated until it is seen firsthand. Please support Common Dreams End-of-Year Campaign TODAY! A removal of this particular monument would truly be a victory. We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported. We don't survive on clicks. The engraving would need a change in state law to remove it, and Professor Crespino would like to see that happen immediately – though he doesn’t want it destroyed. The only thing that keeps us going is support from readers like you. Please help keep Common Dreams alive by making a contribution. There are also legal complications since Stone Mountain Monument has been under Georgia preservation since 2001. Granite from the … “People need to let things go, people need to forget about that part of it.”. Advertisement. Funding for the project came primarily from the Ku Klux Klan, which regularly met on the mountain to burn crosses and the project's first directors and promoters were KKK members. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters. After the Charlottesville violence at the Unite the Right rally last August, Abrams condemned the carving in a series of tweets. Dedicated to teaching the “Southern Cause,” according to its website, it believes their removal is akin to purging American history. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in Georgia, who is running in a hotly contested race to try to shift the long-time red state blue – and become the nation’s first black female governor in the process – has previously criticised the monument. He now joins 3,000 health workers. Slavery wasn’t right but you can’t go in the textbook and remove it or take it out, ever,” she said. President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination was crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore. New York Times Joins Trump's Anti-China Crusade... Should You Be Worried About the New COVID Strains? #BlackLivesMatter protest at Stone Mountain Park, a popular KKK gathering site, in Georgia. ‘It's OK to be ourselves’: Atlanta’s black LGBT community, Black 'reverse migration' driving Atlanta and Georgia towards Democrats, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Thank you. The group, known as the Not F***ing Around Coalition (NFAC) was comprised of several hundred people, all dressed in black. You can’t erase the fact of history. STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The Rev. Brown’s uncle was James Venable’s handyman. Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, often called “the granddaddy of all Confederate monuments,” is once again at the center of an ongoing debate over … Fierce independent media is needed now more than ever. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images). Black Lives Matter protesters gather in front of the Confederate carving in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. PLEASE GIVE NOW. /1 — Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) August 15, … Today, The Confederate Carving on Stone Mountain has been re-branded with laser shows, animated with colored beams of lights. Please help. 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