In Eight States, Public Schools Are Named for SegregationistsBreaking News
tags: education, segregation, Confederacy, monuments
About a two-hour drive south of Atlanta, in the city of Warner Robins, there's an elementary school named for Richard B. Russell, Georgia's longtime and powerful U.S. senator who died in 1971.
In a 1936 re-election campaign for the Senate, Russell, a Democrat, called America "a white man's country," and stressed his willingness to make sacrifices to "preserve and insure white supremacy." Two decades later, he made his opposition to the racial desegregation of schools very public. And in 1964, he criticized the Civil Rights Act for overturning the separate-but-equal model in the South that aimed to solve "the problem of two races living side by side without eventual amalgamation and mongrelization of both."
As of two years ago, according to the most recent federal data, four out of 10 students at the school memorializing him were black.
If you drive roughly 400 miles west of Warner Robins, you'll reach Vardaman High School in Vardaman, Miss. Both the school—where about 13 percent of the students are black—and the town are named after James K. Vardaman, a Mississippi governor and U.S. senator in the early 20th century. He once declared in a speech that, if necessary, "Every Negro in the state will be lynched" in order to maintain white supremacy. And on the subject of educating black children, Vardaman stated, "The only effect of Negro education is to spoil a good field hand and make an insolent cook."
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke Middle East Studies program portrays Islam too positively
- What White Kids Learn About Race in School
- Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?
- Chronicling New York’s Muslim History
- New Documents Illuminate The University of Texas’s Secret Strategy to Keep Out Black Students
- Women Scientists Were Written Out of History. It’s Margaret Rossiter’s Lifelong Mission to Fix That
- Allen C. Guelzo Reviews Sidney Blumenthal's Latest Installment of His Biography of Lincoln
- What Reconstruction-Era Laws Can Teach Our Democracy: The NY Times Reviews Eric Foner's Latest Book
- Should historians read their own book?
- Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At 75