“He would be very proud of it,” Brown said of how he thinks Lee would feel about having Town Center Park named after him.
That said, though, he felt like Lee’s legacy wasn’t in any danger of disappearing.
“His legacy’s going to live on in the Black neighborhood,” Brown said.
Stephens said there is already a mural of Lee downtown, but he noted that over time it may fade and be replaced. But, Stephens said he hoped naming the park after Lee would ensure his name is not forgotten.
Stephens said there were other prominent Black Murphysboro residents considered, but he said Lee made the most sense given that the library and a youth center are right next to the park.
Stephens admitted that the decision to rename the park comes at a particularly poignant time in American history.
“There’s no question that this action is being done in the setting of a larger conversation we are having,” he said of the ongoing discussion about the removal of monuments to Confederate soldiers and slave-owners.
He said he’s not sentimental about the monuments being taken down, but also added that his decision comes out of a different spirit.
“I am more interested in building new representations of what America is all about,” Stephens said.
via The Southern
July 9, 2020 at 07:17AM