Public forum on renaming the Talmadge Bridge to be held Tuesday

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Talmadge Bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Savannah, but some say the name doesn't represent the inclusivity of the city.

The bridge is named for three-time Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge, who is known for opposing social and political equality for everyone.

The group "Span the Gap" is teaming with "The Beach Institute" to host a public forum to get input about the name. The symposium will be Tuesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Savannah Theater on Chippewa Square.

The topic is front and center once again, especially since Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach submitted a proposal to council just weeks ago to ask the state legislature to consider renaming the bridge during the upcoming session.

Event organizers say it will be an open and transparent discussion with an array of panelists on both sides of the issue with the goal of finding some kind of resolution.

"Governor Eugene Talmadge is an interesting figure in Georgia history, to say the least. He's an avowed white supremacist, segregationist and essentially made his political bones on denying equality, political equality, especially for African-Americans," said Ron Christopher, Span the Gap, Spokesman.

If you do attend, you're encouraged to submit questions for the panelists to discuss.

Former Mayor Otis Johnson will moderate the event.

Panelists include:

  • Aberjhani – Historian, Poet, Author, Mediator
  • Francys Johnson – Pastor, State President Georgia NAACP, Civil Rights Attorney, Educator
  • Bernetta B. Lanier – Community Organizer, CEO of Ivory Bay Development
  • Jessica Leigh Lebos – Community Editor Connect Savannah
  • John McMasters – Former Chatham County Commissioner, Business Owner
  • Mark Murphy, MD – Columnist, Author, Business Owner, Gastroenterologist
  • Pamela Oglesby – Community Activist, Business Owner, Author
  • Robin Williams, Ph.D. – Chairman, SCAD Architectural History Department, Author

For more information, please click here to visit the Span the Gap Facebook page.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.