Committee Considers Removing Name of KKK Leader From Atlanta School

Illustration for article titled Committee Considers Removing Name of KKK Leader From Atlanta School
Photo: giedre vaitekune (Shutterstock)

You know how I know America is inherently racist? There are multiple schools named after Confederate generals and KKK leaders, and it took the deaths of multiple Black people and months of protests for school boards to finally go, “You know, we might have a problem here.”

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According to AJC, Jason Esteves, the Atlanta school board chairman, has appointed a committee to discuss renaming Forrest Hill Academy. The school is named after Confederate general and KKK leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. “The board of education is engaged in reviewing the names of school buildings to ensure that our schools are named after people who capture the values and reflect the diversity and the ambitions of our students (and) their families,” Esteves said at a board meeting last week.

Forrest Hill is the third Atlanta school to have a committee formed to re-evaluate its name. Last month, Esteves formed committees to review the names of Henry W. Grady High School and Joseph Emerson Brown Middle School. Grady was an Atlanta journalist who advocated for the “New South,” a post-Civil War movement that saw the rise of Jim Crow laws and “separate but equal” policies, and Emerson was the governor of secessionist Georgia and fought against the abolition of slavery.

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The committee to rename Forrest Hill Academy will be led by the board’s vice-chairwoman, Eshe Collins. Atlanta City Council member Joyce Sheperd, who represents the district the school is located, has been appointed to the committee as well. Students, parents and members of the neighborhood make up the rest of the representatives on the committee.

Throughout the summer, as protests against systemic racism and police brutality have been held nationwide (white) folks have finally begun re-evaluating the widespread prevalence of monuments to white supremacy. For reference on how out of hand the shit is, in my home state of Arizona there are five Confederate monuments, despite Arizona never being a part of the Confederacy.

Matter of fact, Arizona wasn’t even a state during the Civil War but, uh, it’s about “celebrating our history,” I guess?

In addition to removing these monuments, some states have also begun the process of renaming schools with Confederate connections. In Virginia, a high school named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee was renamed after late congressman and legendary civil rights activist John Lewis. This move came as part of a larger effort in the state to remove Confederate names from schools.

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

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DISCUSSION

Such a weird headline that we have to read in 2020.

BTW, don’t get the rants about forming committees at schools to discuss this. You do this to give each school buy-in. You also do it so each school can decide on it’s own alternative name, most likely one that has some local connection. Not only is it not a problem, it’s preferable than to a top-down approach.

Come on, let’s use some critical thinking skills, folks. We don’t have to be mad at literally every aspect of an issue.