Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Black Lives Matter protesters gather in front of the Confederate carving in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia

Black Lives Matter protesters gather in front of the Confederate carving in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The march is to protest confederate monuments and recent police shootings. Stone Mountain Park features a Confederate Memorial carving depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Stone Mountain, Georgia: The Flashpoint Now at Center of Confederate Monument Removals

The mountain, known for its massive Confederate memorial carving, was the location of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915.

Common Dreams staff

The planet’s largest Confederate monument—Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, Georgia—is the new national flashpoint in the growing campaign to rid public spaces of memorials to racist historical figures.

On Saturday, a predominantly Black group of heavily armed protesters marched through the park, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site considered a monument to racism. The group, known as the Not F***ing Around Coalition (NFAC) was comprised of several hundred people, all dressed in black.

Although African Americans appeared to account for the vast majority of the marchers, protesters of various races, men and women alike, were among the group.

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.

Covering more than 17,000 square feet of mountain and 40 feet deep in the crannies, the carving—at nine-stories high—is the largest flat relief sculpture in the world.  Planning of the monument began only in 1914. 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. Their original plan was to depict General Robert E. Lee leading Confederate soldiers and Klan members up the mountain.

The park officially opened to the public on April 14, 1965 — the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

After the memorial was complete, “a ‘neo-Confederate theme park’ emerged around the site, including a plantation house, a “Gone With the Wind” museum, according to a report from the Atlanta History Center, The New York Times reported. 

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.  "We must never celebrate those who defended slavery and tried to destroy the union," Abrams said.

Removing the monument would take a lot of dynamite and require a change in state law. 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.”

Ku Klux Klan rally

The Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain Park

KKK Women Burn Cross at Stone Mountain

An overview of Stone Mountain

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo