Group Seeks Donations to Sue City over Park Names

Group Seeks Donations to Sue City over Park Names

The war between Confederate history buffs and the City of Memphis continues.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The war between Confederate history buffs and the City of Memphis continues.

As you know, the Memphis City Council is changing the names of three Confederate themed parks. The group "Citizens to Save Our Parks" has filed a lawsuit, saying the council doesn't have the power to change the names.

They are meeting in Bartlett to discuss strategy and ask for money for their legal fight.

They are probably the best known parks in Memphis now, the parks that people write and petition about.

The movement is a simple one. Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park were the old names, but they're the only names that Mark Buchanan and Citizens to Save Our Parks want.

"It's important to preserve history and, as many of our friends in the city have said, add to history," Buchanan said.

Citizens to Save Our Parks was formed way back in 2002 to prevent changing the parks' names, even back then. Their reason for existing hasn't changed, and they think the people are on their side.

"Leave the parks the original names. And this is across all backgrounds and all concerns in the City of Memphis. Many of the people at Parks Renaming Committee meetings, both black and white, echo the same thing."

History isn't that easy. There are plenty of historians who say Nathan Bedford Forrest was a cruel slave owning racist. However, the group can't argue that in court.

Now that they've filed a lawsuit, there's only one thing they can pin their hopes on - that only the mayor can change the names, not the city council. To do that, they'll need money.

"It's an expensive effort to try and to do this sort of thing. And that's a shame. The city can't afford it and we can't afford it either."

The City of Memphis has not said anything about the lawsuit. Meanwhile the council won't deal with giving the parks new names until they come up with a new budget. Nobody has any idea when that will happen.

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