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DeKalb County legislators introduce bill to bring major changes to Stone Mountain Park

House Bill 794 would remove the park's official designation as a Confederate memorial.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Three state legislators have introduced a bill to remove Stone Mountain Park's designation as a Confederate Memorial.

House Bill 794 would remove the official designation and remove the word "Memorial" from the park's official title. The bill was introduced by State Representatives Billy Mitchel (D-Stone Mountain), Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) and Omari Crawford (D-Decatur). 

“I’m a proud product of DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain was integral to my development,” said Crawford. “The diversity of DeKalb County is an under-amplified gem in the great state of Georgia. Our ability to work together, despite of our diversity, is what makes DeKalb County unique. Honoring any Confederate history in an area with so much diversity is inconsistent with DeKalb County’s present-day values. It is time that our park reflects our evolution.”

In April of 2021, Pastor Abraham Mosely became the first Black chairmen of The Stone Mountain Memorial Association after he was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp. 

During the association's first meeting under their new leader, the park's CEO proposed new ways to "move Stone Mountain forward," such as moving Confederate artifacts and monuments as well as renaming Confederate Hall as Heritage Hall. 

And in August of the same year, the officials announced a vote had determined a new logo would exclude the park’s giant mountainside carving of Confederate leaders. 

However, some believe more needs to be done to address the park's Confederate legacy. 

“We have been waiting too long for action by the Stone Mountain Memorial Authority to act on needed changes to the false history of the park and the carving,” said Rep. Mitchell, whose district includes the park. “We do not understand the delay and wish to set forth the changes that we see as necessary.”

Removing the park's official designation would result in a number of changes. 

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association would be renamed The Stone Mountain Memorial Association. House Bill 794 would remove the requirement for the association to stock and sell Confederate memorabilia at attractions such as Memorial Hall or the Skyview gift shop. 

However, the biggest change would be the removal of the requirement to preserve the carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on the front of Stone Mountain.

“I am a native of Georgia and DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain has been a part of all the stages of my life,” said Rep. Oliver. “The park is an important asset for our county and state and enjoys enormous popularity and use. As such, the park needs to change its statutory history of honoring the Confederacy and adherence to a ‘lost cause.’ This legislation is consistent with recommendations from other groups and historians who wish to set forth a more accurate history of the Stone Mountain Park and its carving.”

According to the Georgia House of Representatives, these are the other DeKalb County state legislators who have co-sponsored the legislation: Dar'shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Karen Lupton (D-Chamblee), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Becky Evans (D-Atlanta), Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain), Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), Imani Barnes (D-Tucker), Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia), Saira Draper (D-Atlanta), Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta), Long Tran (D-Dunwoody) and Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers).

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