Too Little Too Late?
Last week, the Tennessee House in Nashville passed a bill making it harder to rename any historic park or monument dedicated to war and war figures. Cities in Tennessee will be required to obtain permission from the state before attempting to rename these places. This comes in lieu of the Memphis City Council’s attempt to rename three Civil War themed parks in the city. The bill will not impact the renaming of these parks, since it was passed after the Memphis City Council made its initial decision.
Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, as well as Forrest Park on Union Street, have recently been attacked by the Memphis City Council. Since council members made the announcement, the topic has fallen under heavy debate.
Tomorrow, the Memphis City Council plans to convene once again to discuss this issue. Controversies surrounding the name changes (which are supposedly protected under historic site register designation), as well as Memphis City Council’s lack of prioritizing, have been publicized. Media outlets have criticized the council for allowing the renaming of these parks to take precedence over more important citywide issues, such as poverty, education, crime, etc. It should be interesting to see what tomorrow has to offer.