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New Task Force On Dallas’ Confederate Monuments Formed, First Meeting Next Week

Carol M. Highsmith
Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons
A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Lee Park in Dallas.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas has its task force on Confederate monuments; stay up to date with Hurricane Harvey; an old Fort Worth pasta factory gets new life; and more.

Earlier this month, Mayor Mike Rawlings said he wanted to form a task force to decide the fate of existing Confederate monuments in Dallas.

His announcement came three days after the violent clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Demonstrators protested the day before on the University of Virginia’s campus over the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.


After one person was killed and dozens were injured, cities and colleges around the country were prompted to address their nods to the Confederacy.


Rawlings on Thursday released the details of the 19-member task force. It’s chaired by consultant and United Methodist pastor Frances Waters. The first meeting will be held Thursday night in the City Council chambers.

In Dallas, monuments and monikers include the Confederate War Memorial in Pioneer Park Cemetery next to City Hall, the eponymous statue in Robert E. Lee Park in Oak Lawn, a Confederate monument at Greenwood Cemetery and the names of two elementary schools: Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.


Rawlings isn’t in favor of keeping the statues, but he wants to come to a collective conclusion on what to do with them. Dallas’ four black council members agreed, but not everyone’s on board with him.

“We can just remove them," Rawlings said. "The question is, how are we going to  start to heal on this issue? To do that we need to listen and talk to one another. And there’s a process to do that. So I am a big fan of moving quickly. But when we have a chance to learn from one another, I’ll take that moment.”


He wants City Council to take action by Nov. 8 after the task force reports its recommendations to the Cultural Affairs Commission, according to the Dallas Morning News.


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The High Five is KERA’s daily roundup of stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.