City Councilman Janis Fullilove left a committee meeting Monday afternoon in tears.
She became upset during the discussion of what to do with the Nathan Bedford Forrest marker in Forrest Park.
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What to do with the park and the marker turned into a debate on the character of Forrest.
The city removed the marker from Forrest Park recently after it was discovered the city council had never approved it.
The Sons of the Confederacy paid about $10,000 to put the marker in the park.
In committee, both Councilman Bill Boyd and Sons of the Confederacy member Larry Millar defended Forrest, who was a general in the Civil War. Forrest was also a slave trader and is believed by many historians to be one of the original leaders of the Klu Klux Klan.
"Not only was he a great general, he was a good Memphian, at least when he returned from service," Councilman Boyd said. He helped black people of the city, provided good jobs for them, urging others to provide jobs."
"Nathan Bedford Forrest, he killed black people, he denigrated black people," Councilwoman Fullilove responded. "But here you have Ida B. Wells, who was a savior of black people. I think that park, that statue, should go right where it belongs - the Elmwood Cemetery with his family, and rename that park."
Councilman Myron Lowrey wants to rename the park for Wells, a Civil Rights leader. Councilman Boyd said he would not be in favor of that, but would like to see a new park named for Wells.
Lowrey was not at the committee meeting as he was in Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama's inauguration.
The issue will be hashed out again in two weeks.