Atlanta’s Confederate Advisory Committee Discusses Final Recommendations

Piedmont Park’s Peace Monument, which was spray painted during a protest this summer, was one of the statues discussed by a committee in charge of recommending what to do with Atlanta’s streets and monuments tied to the Confederacy.

David Goldman / Associated Press file

The committee in charge of recommending what to do with Atlanta’s streets and monuments tied to the Confederacy held its final public meeting Monday night.

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The committee discussed recommendations it would offer to Mayor Kasim Reed and the City Council.

Two monuments at the center of their discussion, the Confederate Obelisk and Lion of Atlanta statue, are in Oakland Cemetery.

Sonji Jacobs, who is a committee member, said the monuments are painful to see but simply removing them isn’t necessarily the right choice.

“The Confederate rebellion was a period in history,” she said. “But with the proper contextualization and without taxpayer dollars supporting the obelisk, seeing it is something that’s bearable.”

Regina Brewer, also a committee member, said when it comes to the Peace Monument in Piedmont Park, there are only two choices.

“Either we keep it, which you have to contextualize it in a way that is significant and really tells that story, or you remove it,” she said.

Most members were in favor of adding some type of historical frame of reference to Confederate monuments rather than removing them altogether.

The frame of reference that should be added, according to the committee, would explain to people that the monuments were originally built to reinforce the idea of white supremacy.

The committee was formed by Reed after the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, this summer and will make its final recommendations next week.