Stone Mountain in Georgia, which was once known for its Ku Klux Klan cross burnings, will soon be adding something very interesting: a tower/memorial in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The tower will feature a replica of the Liberty Bell. And accordingly it will give a literal interpretation to the line “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia” from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the authority that maintains the mountain and surrounding Stone Mountain Park, said in a statement that the “King Monument Bell” will “facilitate a more complete telling of the mountain’s history and an expansion of the park’s educational offerings.”
The statement also said additions will include a permanent museum exhibit to recognize contributions of African-American soldiers in both the Union and Confederate armies.
Though the association’s board has yet to take any formal action, its CEO, Bill Stephens, told Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jim Galloway that the King tribute is “a great addition to the historical offerings we have here.”
Galloway was instrumental in pushing for the idea.
In the aftermath of the killings of nine African-Americans at Charleston, South Carolina’s, historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June, Galloway proposed that Stone Mountain — “a three-dimensional history lesson (that) has pushed a one-sided view of America’s bloodiest conflict,” in his words — be made more representative of Southern history.
Stone Mountain, he observed, is within a predominately African-American community just outside Atlanta. The mountain and surrounding Stone Mountain Park are popular gathering spots for multicultural metro Atlanta, with much-hiked trails to the 825-foot summit and bucolic landscaping.
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