Tensions are riding between black students and administrators from Richmond University throughout a disagreement about two campus buildings that bear the name of people who defend the white supremacist ideology.

Students have demanded the names. The University added the name of a Late Black Civil Rights Leader of Richmond to the building. Students see this movement as an affairs that honors the racist legacies of the homonymen of the buildings. University Leaders say that the decision is a commitment that contextualizes the past of the institution.

The University Trustee Board recently approved by adding the name of the Black Leader to a building and the names of enslaved people owned by one of the universities. Founders to a memorial on campus. Campus administrators said the move would provide more historical context about the history of the University with slavery and white supremacy.

The buildings are appointed by the former university president Reverend Robert Ryland, a leader of the Church and the Slave Owner who helped found the university. and Douglas Southall Freeman, a prominent student and former university trustees who were also eugenistic and segregationists. Freeman Hall is now called Mitchell-Freeman Hall, to include John Mitchell Jr., a Black Trailblazer at Richmond Media, who challenged Freeman's racist beliefs. There are also plans to install a memorial on campus for enslaved people who were owned by Ryland and forced to perform manual works in the first days of the institution, the President of the University, Ronald Croutcher, in a statement on February 25 .

"Delete the names of Ryland and Freeman would not force us to do hard, necessary and uncomfortable to deal with the links of the university to slavery and segregation," said Crutcher. "I would not keep a focus on attention on how historic university Leaders also acted in ways to prevent progress ... instead, would lead to cultural and institutional silence and, ultimately, forget."

But where Crutcher, the University The first black president, saw the changes as a positive and honest development and a public recognition of the painful and complicated history of the university with racism, the black students of the university They saw that the story being honored and thrown into their faces.

"Since black students are already aware of that story," said Shira Greer, a junior and leader in a coalition of black students who demand that the university change the names and implement other initiatives to support Color students. "For me, it seems that they are using our history and our pain as a means to educate the entire campus."

"We work too hard and contribute too much to this campus so that our needs are ignored at the service of white supremacy," said a statement distributed by the student coalition, which had been signed by some 680 students, students. , teachers and staff members for Thursday.

Many other universities and universities across the country have eliminated from the campus buildings the names of men who supported slavery, segregation and white supremacy, or knocked down statues and monuments of such men, since the Students, faculty members and former students boosted changes in the campuses that once celebrated these figures without recognizing or putting their historical records, ideologies. or seizes in context. Calls to end these prominent demonstrations have grown after the murder of George Floyd last year and the resurgence of the movement of black life matter. Most campus Leaders have granted those requirements.


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