Black student & ex-KKK member get same honors at US university — Analysis
The College of Alabama has renamed Graves Corridor – named after former Ku Klux Klan member and state Governor Bibb Graves – Lucy-Graves Corridor, after the primary African American scholar to attend the college.
The corridor was renamed on Thursday, on the 66th anniversary of Autherine Lucy Foster’s enrolment on the college, the faculty’s newspaper reported. Lucy attended the college for 3 days earlier than riots and protests led to her suspension, and the college wouldn’t see one other black scholar till 1963.
Nonetheless, Graves’ identify stays on the corridor. The Democrat served two phrases as Alabama’s governor within the Twenties and Thirties. Graves was thought of a progressive for his time, and met with opponents of racial segregation, but had been Grand Cyclops of the Montgomery chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, and loved the Klan’s secret endorsement throughout his 1926 election marketing campaign.
College administration cited Graves’ resignation from the Klan in 1928 and his work alongside “labor unions, prohibitionists, and girls’s suffrage advocates” to defend preserving his identify on the corridor. Nonetheless, some college students aren’t pleased.
The faculty newspaper’s editorial board described the change as a “cowardly compromise that presents the phantasm of ahead momentum whereas clinging to a racist previous.” The board argued that “combining Lucy and Graves’ names conflates two legacies – one the College ought to embrace, and one other it must shed. Trying to commemorate them as equals is unjust.”
Amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, the college arrange a working group to rename a number of buildings on campus. Two buildings, one named after a segregationist college board member and the opposite after a historian who allegedly refused to show black college students, have been renamed in 2021.
Graves’ identify stays on buildings at Auburn College, the College of Montevallo, and the College of North Alabama. Nonetheless, Troy College in 2020 renamed its Bibb Graves Corridor in honor of Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis.
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