Atlanta street may be named for Rosa Parks

JONESBORO, Ga. — The street names in suburban Atlanta’s Clayton County pay homage to the Old South and the Lost Cause: Robert E. Lee Drive. Old Dixie Highway. And Tara Boulevard, named for the plantation home in “Gone With the Wind.” Story from the

From the story:

“…Now, in a move that encapsulates the county’s changing racial demographics, some residents want to rename Tara Boulevard for the civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. “We need to get off that plantation mentality to honor a woman who changed America like few Americans could,” said Bob Hartley, a black man who is the leader of the group of about eight residents asking the Clayton County Commission to make the change…”

Okay, wait a minute. Isnít this changing an established street name rather than renaming some other generic street for the purpose of a history re-write? Iím not so sure about this.

ìÖGetting rid of Tara Boulevard is a good idea to Bill Perry. “The wind done gone,” the 75-year-old black man said with a laugh. “I am praying that they will change it.” If Tara Boulevard is renamed, it will be another visible symbol of the demographic shift in Clayton County, which has long been white and rural and is now mostly black and suburban…”

I guess when the demographics change, we can just get rid of the past anyway we want to right? Right? Even if the past is of no threat to the present. Since Iíve lived here in the South all my life and have had great relationships with all people, (all people), it seems difficult to understand some of this. Itís a bit of a radical mentality.

I am all for naming streets for great people and Rosa Parks was an inspiration to all of us. ALL OF US! And she could very well deserve a street name or a new building named after her. But, this strikes me as a bit of a removal of history. Seems like something they did in Ancient Egypt and in Afghanistan. (I hated to see those works of religious art get blown away.)

“…Daniel Mulkey, a white man who lived in Jonesboro for 47 years before learning Thursday where the road he has traveled so often got its name, said it makes no difference to him whether they change it or not. He said people in Clayton County generally get along, and he warned against letting the road become a divisive issue…”

I agree with Mr. Mulkey. I don’t really care. I just want people to stop and think about things like this.

15 Comments so far

  1. Stevo (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 8:30 am

    Can’t we just hyphenate it…like our airport? Ahh.. Tara Rosa Parks Road.

  2. OFCOURSE (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 9:19 am

    Maybe we can just put a little smiley face on the confederate flag and then start flying it, too! I mean, its part of the past too- but what a compromise! The smile means it won’t remind anyone of slavery! Problem solved!

    And if they try and rename any Peachtree I will go on a hunger strike. I mean- is nothing sacred?!?

  3. Eric (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 9:24 am

    This is getting ridiculous. I’m all for honoring those that deserve it, but there are a couple of problems with this:

    – Rosa Parks was never a resident of Georgia
    – There is too much of this renaming going on. I don’t know who “Langford” was, but people did know where Lakewood Freeway went. And Bankhead Hwy now has like 15 names. It is disorienting. Some of these road names have been in place for years and I think it dilutes a sense of place to keep renaming major thoroughfares.

  4. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 9:45 am

    What people seem to forget is that there are people who LIVE, or places of BUSINESS that are on the streets that get renamed. Think about all of the work necessary in changing ALL of your records when politicians want to do the “Right Thing” by renaming streets.

    I once talked with a resident of Hosea L Williams Drive (formerly Boulevard in DeKalb County). She was given six months to update all of her accounts. I know that I’ve got better things to do with my time than inform all of my creditors, friends and relatives so that we can honor someone, not even if the street was going to be named after ME!

  5. Amber (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 9:47 am

    I think this is retarded. I don’t see how the name Tara Boulevard has any racist connotations. “In Gone With the Wind” != “racist.”

  6. Tony Mc (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 12:49 pm

    They could easily name or designate GA Highway 85 that runs north to south through Clayton county, almost parallel with Tara Blvd, Rosa Parks Memorial Highway or something like that. Renaming a large road like Tara Blvd will cause more trouble for people with businesses than good.

    I don’t really care what counties name after people, as long as they are dead. I don’t understand the naming of road/bridges/buildings after people that are still living or worse have made no credible impact on the city where this occurs.

    Eric: Mr. Langford was Fulton County’s first elected black sheriff. And Bankhead Highway is Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy inside Fulton county and Veterans Memorial Hwy outside in Cobb County. Mr Hollowell was a prominant, black attorney that help in desegregating Atlanta schools and once got MLK Jr out of jail during the Civil Rights Movement.

  7. RETARDED (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 1:23 pm

    >I think this is retarded. I don’t see how the name >Tara Boulevard has any racist connotations. “In >Gone With the Wind” != “racist.”

    …”retarded” has no connotations either. Nice.

  8. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 1:49 pm


    I don’t know if you heard, but in honor of the late civil rights pioneer, everyone else at Metblogs has decided to rename you Rosa Parks.

    Sorry, but the mob has spoken.


  9. STEVE BEVILLE (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 2:00 pm

    Andy – Finally! I get some recognition! My best friend in high school was named Rosa. She was the only girl that liked me.

  10. Brandon Beacher (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 5:16 pm


    Someone with username “bob_hartley” just won my eBay auction to tatto “Rosa Parks” on your forehead. Final bid was $7. I’ll split it with you.

    – Brandon

  11. Patrick Sullivan (unregistered) on November 19th, 2005 @ 2:35 pm

    Wow I can’t wait for south Atlanta to become majority white so that we can rename MLK Boulevard to Jeff Foxworthy Memorial Parkway. I also think that Lewis Grizzard Avenue has a better ring to it then Jesse Hill Drive, don’t you? And don’t worry about Langford/Lakewood Parkway – I think that the caucasian masses that will soon populate the city would be more than happy to call it Zell Miller Freeway.

    Gee, this street renaming business is so easy and fun! Much better than building a quality park, bikepath or public art installation and naming THOSE after great people.

  12. Robert (unregistered) on November 19th, 2005 @ 6:04 pm

    Rosa Parks may not have been a Georgian, but Tara is a fiction plantation that only existed in Clayton County in 1936’s “Gone With the Wind.” It has literary significance, not civil war or historical significance. Plantations (real or fictional) seem to have a negative connotation, with their association with slaves.

    For a now predominanty African-American county looking to change a street currently named for a fiction plantation to a person of historical and social importance sounds like a worthwhile debate.

  13. MORRIS SMITH (unregistered) on November 28th, 2005 @ 11:51 am



  14. Jessi (unregistered) on December 4th, 2005 @ 12:28 am

    Tara Blvd is also named after Herman Talmadge. The racist segregationist governor of GA

  15. Bob Hartley (unregistered) on December 11th, 2005 @ 8:25 pm


    My name is Bob Hartley and I proposed the name change. I would like for you to visit my website and post your opinion. Go to

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