MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The legacy of onetime Confederate fighter and slave trader Nathan Bedford Forrest has sparked new discord in Memphis amid moves to rename parks whose very names recall the Old South.
Fresh division arose before the Memphis City Council voted recently to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest Park in Memphis, where a statue of Forrest stands and the general is buried. The council also voted to rename two other parks whose names evoke the Confederate Civil War heritage.
The fight over Forrest highlights a broader debate over what Confederate figures should represent in the 21st century. Other U.S. cities also have wrestled with the issue of naming parks and buildings after Confederate figures.
Some insist changing names to remove Confederate associations rewrites history. But others say dropping the associations is long overdue.