DeKalb CEO to become only black member of Stone Mountain’s board

Michael Thurmond, during his days as superintendent of the DeKalb County school system. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

Gov. Nathan Deal is set to appoint DeKalb County Chief Executive Michael Thurmond to the board that governs state-owned Stone Mountain, making him the only African-American member of the panel that oversees the nation’s largest monument to the Confederate war dead.

The governor said earlier this week that he hadn’t realized each of the 10 members of the of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association board was white, and that he would “certainly be open” to tapping an African-American leader to serve on the panel. He’s set to make the appointment on Friday, said  his top aide Chris Riley.

Stone Mountain and its towering carving of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is again at the center of debate over Rebel symbols after this month’s bloody violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Thurmond, whose county encompasses Stone Mountain, did not immediately comment on Thursday, but he earlier called on Deal to add diverse members to the board who would push for more context about slavery and the causes of the Civil War at Stone Mountain.

Read more: Thurmond to join all-white Stone Mountain board


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