DeKalb County

DeKalb County CEO publishes new book about Georgia’s founding founder

ATLANTA — DeKalb County’s CEO says some Black history stories need to be told, so he did it himself.

Michael Thurmond has just published a book about the founder of Georgia and his impact on the state and black history.

Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen was at the state capitol in downtown Atlanta where Thurmond says there is much more to know about James Oglethorpe.

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Under the Georgia State Capitol dome, the bust and pedestal stand on the landing between the second and third floors.

“I’m so proud because I feel like we have uncovered a 300-year-old lie,” Thurmond said.

The DeKalb CEO has just published a biography about James Oglethorpe. 

“Our state’s founding father,” Thurmond said.

The book is titled “Father of Georgia: A Founder’s Journey from Slave Trader to Abolitionist.”


Thurmond says in some circles, history has overlooked part of the general’s story. He says to some, Oglethorpe sometimes lacked compassion and empathy toward enslaved Black people. 

Thurmond says his research found a man transformed after reading a personal letter written by an enslaved young man. A letter that articulated a love for family and humanity. 

He says it changed him.

Thurmond says because of Oglethorpe, Georgia was the only British colony to prohibit slavery before the Revolutionary War. His outspoken opposition to the transatlantic slave trade set him apart.

Thurmond says it’s a story that needs to be told.

“I’m elated to know that his vision for a slave-free Georgia, is the Georgia we live in today. General James Oglethorpe changed himself, and more importantly, helped change the course of world history,” Thurmond said.

To learn more about the book, click here.

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