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Two local activist groups to host walking tour of Decatur, discussing area’s history of racism


Two local activist groups to host walking tour of Decatur, discussing area’s history of racism

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After the Stand With Charlottesville candlelight vigil on August 13. 2017, in Decatur, Ga., attendees gather to discuss the controversial "Lost Cause" monument in Decatur Square.


On Monday, Oct. 14, Hate Free Decatur and the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights will host a walking tour of downtown Decatur discussing the history of racism in the South and in Decatur.

According to a Hate Free Decatur press release, the event, titled “From Columbus to the Confederacy: Continuing the Work to Overcome White Supremacy,” is taking place on Indigenous Peoples’ Day to “tie together the related histories of racist action against black, native and immigrant communities and bring together activists working to change the systems of white supremacy present today.”

“We are holding this event on the day that many communities and seven states across the country are now calling Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” Paul McLennan, local activist and co-founder of Hate Free Decatur, said. “With white patriarchal supremacy so prevalent today, it is critical to go to its roots in the genocidal policies towards Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans brought to work stolen land.”

The two groups have been working since August 2017 to remove the Confederate monument from Decatur Square. Their efforts led to the installation of a new contextualizing marker that confronts the racist propaganda inherent in the Decatur monument.

“We invite all community members and supporters to join us as we move literally and symbolically from the monument to the ongoing work in addressing the ongoing systems of oppression in our community that disparately impact residents of color,” the release said.

The tour will span approximately 0.5 miles from the Decatur Square to the Ebster Recreation Center, where it will end with a “celebration to connect with our community and recommit to our work.”

Stops along the walking tour will include:

– Decatur Confederate Monument – erected in 1908 by the Agnes Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. While claiming to be about celebrating the sacrifice of white soldiers, it valorizes the slave-owning Confederate south and was purposely placed to intimidate black DeKalb residents just two years after the Atlanta Race Riots of 1906.

– “Indian Wars” Cannon – erected in 1906 by the Agnes Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It was used in the 1836 Creek War, which resulted in the forced relocation of native people along the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma where most of the Creek nation now resides.

– DeKalb County Courthouse – Officer Robert Olsen fatally shot Anthony Hill in 2005 while Hill, an unarmed black veteran, was in the midst of a mental health crisis. a jury is still deliberating in the trial against Olsen.

– DeKalb Administration Building (Maloof Center) – the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) was founded in 1992. Since then, the program has allowed over 1,000 Georgia police officials, including DeKalb County officials, to travel to countries with records of human rights abuses and encourages the continued militarization of our police forces.

– Beacon Municipal Center – the historic Beacon community was a thriving black community of homes, businesses, churches, and schools founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. The community was decimated following “urban renewal” initiatives in the 1960s.

Source: Hate Free Decatur

“We have to join together as a community to confront white supremacy and all its manifestations and symbols,” Mawuli Davis, noted local civil rights attorney and co-chair of Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, said. “Our children deserve the truth.”

The event will take place tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 14, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

More information is available at the Facebook event page here.

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