DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) The Confederate 'Lost Cause' statue erected in 1908 on the steps of the historic DeKalb County Courthouse may be replaced with a memorial to John Lewis.
"We think it would be a really powerful message because that Confederate monument was erected to discourage Black people from being able to come into this courthouse and register to vote," said community leader Mawuli Davis as he stood next to the barricades that now sit where the controversial Confederate statue once stood.
"He’s an elected congressman from this district, he served 34 years in Washington representing this district. He's had a historic career fighting for justice and for civil rights. Who could argue with that?," added Lewis about the late congressman.
The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights is behind the proposal. The group was essential in the fight to remove the "Lost Cause" monument from the steps of the DeKalb County Courthouse in June. While the details of the John Lewis statue are still in the works, the group has several ideas on what they would like it to look like.
"We would love for a statue of the young John Lewis, when he was a student with the Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. That version of him as he went across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in the trench coat and that backpack. It could be really a powerful image for young people," said Davis.
The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights says their goal is to inspire others to fight equality. Many in the community are in support of the effort.
"I think it’s a good idea, he’s done so much for Georgia and for the world," said resident Robert Johnson.
Resident Bill Gallo also agrees.
"He was an amazing civil rights leader. He did incredible things to advance civil rights and he’s from here so what a better way to honor him," said Gallo.
For those in opposition of the effort, Davis has a response.
"Just like the men who stood on the other side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge with billy clubs waiting for him, they were on the wrong side of history and those who would stand against a statue of John Lewis in this square would be on the wrong side of history again."