(PHOTOS) Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park

Maggie Nesbit holds a sign in front of the largest Confederate monument in the world, the 90-foot carving on the side of Stone Mountain featuring General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA — On Sunday, June 12, the Stone Mountain Action Coalition lead a Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park in coordination with nationwide teacher led rallies at historic sites across the country to speak out against anti-history education bills. Around twenty teachers, concerned citizens and members of the Stone Mountain Action Coalition met on the Gazebo at the Stone Mountain Visitors Center before around a dozen made the trek to the park.

“This is part of a national effort coordinated by the Zinn Education Project to promote truth telling, to teach the truth. This is because an increasing number of states have introduced and passed legislation that limits what teachers can discuss in their classrooms,” said Stone Mountain Action Coalition member Sally Stanhope.  “In addition to passing one such law called the ‘Protect Students First Act,’ (Georgia) also passed a book banning act and Stone Mountain Action Coalition and many other concerned citizens can see this as an extension of what’s going on in Stone Mountain. A very warped version of the truth being imparted to our citizens. A version of the truth that does not give them the tools to understand our dynamic society today and the changes we need to make to become a more functional fair, just society.”

The 90-foot carving on the side of Stone Mountain featuring General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis is the largest Confederate monument in the world and is protected by law Stanhope said, but she added the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the parks governing board, has the power to make other changes.

“We do not need to fly the four Confederate flags, specifically the Confederate battle flag which is a universal symbol of hate. (Venable) lake is named after a family where two of the most prominent family members were leaders in the KKK,” Stanhope said. “I think that Georgia as a state doesn’t support those values and since it’s a state park, we need to get rid of those.”

Stanhope said the chairman of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association and the CEO of Stone Martin Park are on the record in their commitment to truth telling,

“They just haven’t done anything, and we’re waiting,” Stanhope said. “We’ve given them the legal argument to get rid of the flags, we’ve given them an anti-racist statement that they can issue to remind us that they are committed to anti-racism, especially after last month, when they allowed a Confederate rally in their park to happen. We don’t see any good faith efforts. They did remove the Confederate memorial from their logo, and they did appoint a Black chairman (Rev. Abraham Mosley), but that is all they have done.”

Gabrielle Rogers, a community leader, activist, co-founder of Stone Mountain Action Coalition and recent political candidate talks about the effect Stone Mountain Park has on the surrounding community during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Stone Mountain Action Coalition member Stacie Smith carries a sign on Robert E. Lee Blvd. during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Stone Mountain Action Coalition member Sally Stanhope talks about the Confederate flags flying at the base of the walk-up trail during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Dr. LaDena Bolton, a community advocate and co-founder of the Stone Mountain Action Coalition leads a chant in front of the Flag Terrace, where multiple versions of the Confederate flag fly at the base of the walk-up trail during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
A member of the Stone Mountain Action Coalition holds a sign toward passing traffic on Robert. E. Lee Blvd. as the group stops across from a collection of buildings from around the state built between 1793 and 1875 during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Stone Mountain Action Coalition member Sally Stanhope talks about the 90-foot carving on the side of Stone Mountain, the largest Confederate monument in the world, during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Leno Rose-Avila comments during a discussion of the effect Stone Mountain Park has on the surrounding community and the “Protect Students First Act” that prohibits the teaching of “divisive concepts” in Georgia’s classrooms during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Anti-racist organizer Scott Nesbit, on right, speaks during a discussion of the effect Stone Mountain Park has on the surrounding community and the “Protect Students First Act” that prohibits the teaching of “divisive concepts” in Georgia’s classrooms during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Stone Mountain Action Coalition member Sally Stanhope talks about the Flag Terrace, where multiple versions of the Confederate flag fly at the base of the walk-up trail during the Stone Mountain Action Coalition led Truth Walk at Stone Mountain Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect name. This story has been updated with the correct information. 

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