New Dallas Confederate monuments task force meets for first time

Image 1 of 2

Members of the Working Group for Confederate Monuments met for the first time Tuesday at the Hall of State library at Fair Park in Dallas.

The group, formed after the Dallas City Council passed a resolution back in April, is tasked with coming up with context for items that will not be removed and create a new memorial to honor a lynching victim.

Part one of the committee’s work is to come up with full historical context for Confederate art and symbols at Fair Park. Potential context would come with new signage, markers, creating digital tour guides and educational programming.

Dallas sculptor, Barvo Walker, served on the mayor's task force. He's happy to see the confederate artwork preserved.

“Some of them have some overtones in them that some people don't like but they are great pieces of art,” Walker said.

The group will also come up with a proper memorial of the lynching of Allen Brooks which occurred outside the Old Red Courthouse in downtown Dallas in 1910. Walker has offered to make the historic marker.

“It reflects on our society that a period of time of slavery, which is an embarrassment, was an evil time. But it will reflect that the people of today cared enough to remember this man,” Walker said.

The council voted to remove the stature of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park in 2017 and put it in storage indefinitely.

Despite its name, the working group for confederate monuments will not be deciding the fate of the Confederate war memorial in Pioneer Park, near city hall. A city spokeswoman said any action by the council will have to wait until the new representative for the District 4 seat vacated by Dwaine Caraway is sworn into office.

Former Dallas ISD trustee Ron Price wants to see the statue preserved.

“I’m a great proponent for retaining that history. Yes, some of that history is painful, but still, it’s part of our history and the worst thing we can do for our society is to whitewash our history like it never did happen,” Price said.

One of the group members off camera told FOX4 that Tuesday was really a chance for everyone to get to know one another and understand the task at hand.

A tedious process is expected in the coming months, one that will no doubt be watched by the community.