Barack Obama Gets School Named For Him In Former Confederate Capital
The school board in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday night voted to rename an elementary school for former President Barack Obama.
J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School, named after a Confederate general, will become Barack Obama Elementary School. The decision means that Richmond, the former capital of the Confederate States of America, will soon have a school honoring America’s first black president.
The lone school board member who voted against the decision advocated for delaying the vote, favoring a name that would honor a local figure.
“This is Richmond and we are about history and we have so many great local stories to tell,” said Kenya Gibson, who represents the elementary school, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Our local stories are so important to cherish.”
Numerous municipalities across the country have grappled with renaming or removing Confederate monuments in recent years. The issue came to a head in August, after a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting the removal of Confederate monuments.
Other cities also have re-examined names and memorials honoring public figures with racist histories.
School board members in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Monday night voted to change the names of two schools that had been named after controversial historical figures. The city also plans to determine a new name for its Robert E. Lee Elementary School on Aug. 6.
Last fall, the school board in Jackson, Mississippi, decided to replace the name of a school named after the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, with Obama’s name.
Representatives for Obama did not immediately return a request for comment.