“Honoring Slavery is No Way to Teach History”
Virginia students, alumni and parents fought and won the war to get Virginia counties and school districts to change the names of schools honoring Confederate soldiers. About time!
Prince William County voted and decided to change two school names. The first being Stonewall Middle School. The name will soon be Unity Braxton Middle School, in honor of Celestine and Carroll Braxton.
Celestine was a civil rights activist and taught in Prince William County for 33 years! Her husband, Carroll, was one of the first Black men to enlist in the Marine Corps and a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012. These two deserve this immensely more than a general who fought to keep SLAVES and was TREASONOUS to the US.
The second school to change Stonewall Jackson High School’s name to Unity Reed High School in honor of a much beloved security assistant at the high school. Fairfax County is currently looking for a new name for Robert E. Lee High which is named after another Confederate general.
Kimberly Boateng and Kadija Ismail, two 17 year old Black students, lead the charge for Robert E. Lee High’s name change to! Kimberly Boateng said, One day I was sitting after school and the lobby was empty and I looked up and it was kind of menacing. Then I walked to the plaque underneath it and saw it was donated by the Daughters of the Confederacy. And suddenly I felt, This is ridiculous.” Ismail then posted a petition which saw 1,000 signatures in 24 hours! Ismail and Boateng wrote a letter to the school board, they voted and unanimously voted to change school names. These ladies earned mad respect!
The school board has said they are considering President Barack Obama, U.S Rep. John Lewis and Cesar Chavez as inspiration for new school names. Any of those will sound better than Robert E. Lee High.
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