While much of the attention around symbolism in honor of the Confederacy has centered around Confederate monuments, statues and the flag itself, there are many schools across the U.S. named after Confederate leaders. The public schools are the next battlefield on continued attempts to honor the white supremacist, secessionist cause, and the people who fought to keep Black people in bondage. Sadly, over 150 years after the end of the Civil War, nearly 200 schools are named for Confederate military and administrative officials. Many Black and Latino children attend these schools that memorialize this Southern slave-owning culture yet teach them the Civil War was fought over states’ rights and economic issues. As the process to remove the slave masters, secessionists and Klan leaders from these schools begins in earnest, it is necessary to consider the impact of such indoctrination and negative imagery on the development of young minds.
Across the country, there are 191 schools named for pro-slavery Confederate figures, according to an analysis by HuffPost based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics. More than 129,000 students attend these schools, over half of them nonwhite — 41 percent white, 32 percent Latino and 21 percent Black — including 27,000 Black students.
The recent events surrounding the August 12 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia— where one woman was killed and others injured when a Nazi sympathizer rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters — has caused some Confederate-named schools to erase their Dixie-inspired names. (Atlanta Black Star)