Special committee formed to study park renaming - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Special committee formed to study park renaming

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Jimmy Ogle regularly shares his personal knowledge of Memphis history with others.

"Walking tours and talks at civic clubs and schools and churches," said Ogle.

The one-time deputy parks director is currently chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission and among seven people appointed Tuesday to serve on a special committee to review the renaming of Confederate, Jefferson Davis, and Forrest Parks.  The latter is named in honor of the Confederate general and original grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

"And I think we need to be objective about it," said Ogle.  "Obviously, the city council is going to make the final decision. But I think if we can give them solid information and dispel some of the misinformation, that would be helpful."

In addition to Ogle, councilmen Bill Boyd and Harold Collins are on the committee along with NAACP President Keith Norman, parks official Larry Smith, and professors Michael Robinson and Dr. Douglas Cupples.

"This is a good representative assembly of Memphians who are capable of providing a reasonable solution for recommendation to the Memphis City Council," said Boyd, who is chairman of the council's parks committee.

"And things seem to be spiraling down on this rather than leveling off and taking a common sense approach to it," said Ogle.

Ogle believes common ground can be found even in this debate.

There is no information on when the special committee might meet.

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