To: Atlanta History Center

Take It Down Now: Eternal Flame of the Confederacy in Atlanta

Take It Down Now: Eternal Flame of the Confederacy in Atlanta

Remove the Eternal Flame of the Confederacy statue immediately.

Why is this important?

On Saturday, August 12th, white nationalists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they killed in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols.

These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point.

Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror.

This specific monument, The Eternal Flame of Confederacy (a gaslight lamp which survived the Civil War and multiple relocations throughout downtown in the ensuing years) has recently been relocated to the Buckhead area after most recently standing in Underground Atlanta.

One of 50 lamps installed in the city in 1855, the black gaslight stood in what would ultimately become Underground. During the bombardment of Atlanta by Union troops in 1864, a shell fragment ricocheted off the lamp, striking Solomon Luckieā€”a free African-American barber in the city. Luckie had the unlucky distinction of being one of the first casualties of the siege on Atlanta. His leg was amputated in hopes of saving his life, but he died hours later. [1]

Despite the real events that inspired the placement of this confederate monument, most would say that this lamp celebrates the ways of the south during the civil war, which is an unacceptable occasion to celebrate.

Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community.

[1]: https://atlanta.curbed.com/2017/6/8/15760828/antebellum-lamppost-atlanta-underground-history-center

Updates

2017-10-08 18:39:50 -0700

25 signatures reached

2017-10-08 16:23:28 -0700

10 signatures reached