This post has been updated with comments from the artist.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) wants to remove a carving of Confederate generals from Georgia’s Stone Mountain monument. But a local artist has a different idea.
Mack Williams is proposing to add Atlanta-based rap duo Outkast, some of Georgia’s most-loved native sons, to the monument. Outkast’s Big Boi and Andre 3000—preferably in a Cadillac—would be featured alongside Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis, who are all shown on horseback.
Williams sent Quartz an image of his proposed monument addition.
The carving’s current depiction of Confederate leaders “is upholding the white supremacy on which the Confederacy was founded and the war was fought,” said NAACP chapter president Richard Rose at a press conference this week. He told local media they could be sand-blasted off, or removed and sold at an auction.
Rose added that a compromise would be to add other figures to Stone Mountain, some who have been “instrumental in bringing peace between the races” and in “elevating Georgia beyond the Civil War and Jim Crow eras.” Outkast could conceivably qualify—although the group was embroiled in a long-running legal feud with civil rights icon Rosa Parks over their song which bears her name and urges everyone to “move to the back of the bus.”
In his petition on MoveOn.org, which stemmed from a Facebook exchange with another animator, Williams argues that Stone Mountain, though “an impressive and historic work of art,” is unacceptable. It ”only represents a small, regrettable time in the history of the Peach State. It’s high time we added a bit more of our history and culture to this monument,” he writes in a proposal to Georgia lawmakers:
I believe that Daddy Fat Sacks [Big Boi] and Three Stacks [Andre 3000] should be carved riding in a Cadillac (as is their wont). This will help the new carving blend nicely with the Confederates who are on horseback.
Outkast are two of the greatest Georgians in the history of our state. It’s about time the Empire State of the South paid proper tribute to them, while also improving a great monument and tourist attraction.
As of this writing, the petition has been signed by nearly 5,000 people. Big Boi gave the idea a thumbs-up on Twitter:
“I had no idea it would catch on like it has. I suppose I should have seen it coming… everyone loves Outkast,” Williams tells Quartz. He’s not quite sure about next steps.
The legacy of the Confederacy has been the subject of nation-wide debate after white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof appeared holding the Confederate flag, for many a symbol of racism and slavery, in a series of online images. Private companies have removed the flag from stores, and local authorities, including the state of South Carolina, have removed the flag from official grounds.