“Monument: The Untold Story of Stone Mountain” Film Tackles the History of the World’s Largest Confederate Monument
New 30-minute documentary about the Stone Mountain carving is the first AHC Originals Production for the nearly 100-year-old Atlanta History Center
ATLANTA, Jan. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In a first for the institution, Atlanta History Center will release its new documentary Monument: The Untold Story of Stone Mountain on January 12, 2023. Kristian Weatherspoon, Vice President of Digital Storytelling at Atlanta History Center, directed the documentary, which includes a range of deep historical research and perspectives on the Stone Mountain carving offered by historians, scholars, museum professionals and engaged members of the community. The documentary builds on years of work since the institution launched its Confederate Monument Interpretation Initiative in 2016, led by President & CEO, Sheffield Hale.
“As I made presentations about the history of the Stone Mountain carving, it became really clear to me that a lot of people, both in Atlanta and around the state, don’t know the full history,” said Hale, who is featured in the film. “This stood out to us at Atlanta History Center as an opportunity to use our historical resources and research to offer a full and accurate history. Informing factual discussions about our state’s shared history is what we do.”
The Stone Mountain memorial was initially proposed in the 1910s by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The early carving effort was inextricably linked to the revival of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915, which took place on top of Stone Mountain. Though that initial effort was left partially completed for decades, segregationist politician Marvin Griffin took up the cause in 1954 in a fiery campaign speech 57 days after Brown vs. Board of Education ruling overturned the legal basis for segregation laws in public schools. After being elected governor, he approved the placement of the Confederate Battle Flag on the state flag in 1956 and the purchase of Stone Mountain by the state of Georgia to complete the carving as a symbol of resistance to integration in 1958. The carving was completed in 1972. Today, Stone Mountain Park is still owned by the state of Georgia. State law requires the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which governs the park, to maintain “a suitable memorial to the Confederacy.” (OCGA §12-3-192.1)
“When I was thinking about how to tell this complex history, having a range of perspectives and experiences was really important to me,” Weatherspoon said. “Up until now, many discussions about Stone Mountain haven’t showcased the whole history, which includes the powerful medium of film.”
The film is the first documentary short film product by the in-house storytelling team, AHC Originals. Other projects addressing different topics in Atlanta and Georgia history—through shortform videos, blog posts, and a podcast—are in the works.
“This medium is new for us as a history center, but it’s an exciting direction,” said Hale. “As we seek to serve as many people as possible, AHC Originals is a critical piece to reaching people who might not visit an exhibition at our museum.”
For more information, and to view the film, please visit https://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/monument. The webpage also includes extensive primary sources documenting historical evidence presented in the film, further reading, blog posts on related topics and more.
About Atlanta History Center
Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, 33-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the nation’s largest history museums, including Cyclorama: The Big Picture experience; three historic houses—the 1920s Swan House, the 1860s Smith Farm, and the 1830s Wood Cabin; Goizueta Gardens; Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; a museum shop; Souper Jenny café; and BRASH coffee shop. In addition, the Atlanta History Center owns and operates Atlanta History Center Midtown, which includes the Margaret Mitchell House, gallery space, and event spaces. Atlanta History Center Midtown is currently closed. For more information, visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.
View original content to download multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/monument-the-untold-story-of-stone-mountain-film-tackles-the-history-of-the-worlds-largest-confederate-monument-301719718.html
SOURCE Atlanta History Center