Proposal Would Add Rights Advocate's Name to Tenn. Park

Jan 22, 2013

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis City Council member says he wants to honor a local civil rights champion by adding her name to a park currently named for the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

The park is the gravesite of Confederate cavalry officer Nathan Bedford Forrest and features an equestrian statue of him. A city official recently had a granite marker bearing the park name removed, saying it had not been approved by the city.

A local Sons of the Confederacy chapter paid for and placed the marker and say they did have city approval.

The Commercial Appeal says city councilman Myron Lowery intends to introduce a measure at today’s Parks and Neighborhoods Committee meeting to add the name of Ida B. Wells to the park’s name. Wells was the co-owner and editor of an anti-segregationist newspaper in the early 1880s and was a voice for women's rights.

Lowery says he isn't trying to change history, but wants to balance history.