Park renaming vote delayed by city council - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Park renaming vote delayed by city council

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council's vote on the renaming of confederate themed parks is delayed. The city council was supposed to vote on the name changes Tuesday but decided to delay the vote until a committee can come up with a recommendation.

Citizens on both sides of the issue showed up before the debate was delayed.

The city council did finalize a list of nine local leaders and citizens on both sides of the issue who will serve on the renaming committee.

The controversy began with a proposal to add civil rights leader Ida B. Wells' name to the park initially named after Confederate General and KKK member Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose remains are buried under a park statue.

Meanwhile, the KKK is approved for a rally to protest the name changes March 30.

Some say the issue hurts history, while others say the parks' linked to the KKK are offensive.

"Not so much that they're Confederate parks. It's the whole issue of Memphis being white-washed, being erased by people, for lack of a better term, are just ignorant," said John Spain, 4th TN Infantry Company A, Confederate army re-enactor.

"We're fighting to have these parks not only renamed. We also want the remains of Mr. Forrest and his wife removed and placed back at Elmwood Cemetery from where they came," said Kennith Van Buren, Direct Action Memphis.

The committee will conclude its findings by April 2. That is when they will give a recommendation to the city council.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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