Civil rights groups condemn ‘Soul Fest’ concerts at Georgia park with giant Confederate carving
ATLANTA (AP) — Civil rights groups and other advocates denounced a concert series with Black performers dubbed “Soul Fest” that is being held at a Georgia park replete with Confederate imagery, including a giant carving of Confederate leaders.
Stone Mountain Park just outside Atlanta is where the Ku Klux Klan marked its rebirth in 1915. Its colossal, mountainside sculpture of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson is the largest Confederate monument ever crafted and has special protection enshrined in Georgia law.
The park has taken steps in recent years to try to soften its Confederate legacy and promote itself as a family site amid declining revenue, but civil rights groups have said the moves fall way short of what’s needed.
The “Soul Fest” concert series is a way to “normalize and sanitize” the hateful message of the park, said Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose.