Committee defers action on Memphis park name

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A Memphis City Council committee meeting produced emotional heat, but no action on changing the name of a city park.

According to The Commercial Appeal, the chairman of the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee spoke of good things he said Nathan Bedford Forrest did for African-Americans.

Council Member Myron Lowery has submitted a proposal to add the name of civil rights advocate Ida B. Wells to Forrest Park. But Lowery was in Washington, D.C., and the committee took no action.

However, chairman Bill Boyd said Forrest -- a Confederate cavalry officer, slave trader and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan -- also gave blacks jobs in businesses he owned after the Civil War.

The comments distressed council member Janis Fullilove, who left the meeting in tears.

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