DeKalb County

‘We’re moving into a new era’: People pleased about building new statue to honor John Lewis

DECATUR, Ga. — The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a plan this week to build a statue honoring the late Rep. John Lewis in the same spot where a Confederate monument once stood.

The Confederate obelisk that had stood in Decatur Square since 1908 was taken down on the eve of Juneteenth in 2020.

A statue commemorating Lewis, an iconic civil rights fighter, will soon stand in its place.

“I think it’s going to be great,” said Stephanie Stephens, who lives in DeKalb County.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington spoke with Atlanta NAACP president Richard Rose of the statue’s significance.

“He risked his life numerous times for voters’ rights and for equal justice across the South,” Rose said.


Susie Thomas told Washington that she doesn’t support the removal of all Confederate monuments but thinks a statue of Lewis makes the most sense for Decatur Square.

“I don’t really terribly mind Confederate monuments, but I think John Lewis is someone to be celebrated,” Thomas said.

“We’re moving into a new era. I feel like it’s time for people to start coming together, and John Lewis, he represented … he wanted unity,” Stephens said.

In 2021 the Sons of the Confederate Veterans sued to return the monument. A judge ordered the monument to be placed in storage indefinitely.

There is no word yet on when the new statue will be erected here in Decatur Square.