Photo credit: Julio Cortez/AP
On the eve of Juneteenth, the Virginia, Richmond Public School Board voted to rename J.E.B Stuart Elementary, the city's last remaining school to be named after a confederate leader, to Barack Obama Elementary School.
The name change follows months of meetings and recommendations from the community and student body, which is more than 90 percent African American. It also comes less than a year after Jackson Mississippi's Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School, named after Confederate president Jefferson Davis, changed its name to honor the 44th U.S. President. On Monday, the three final choices came down to Wishtree, Northside and Barack Obama, who won in a 6-1 vote.
"Thank you Richmond City School Board for re-naming JEB Stuart Elementary, Barack Obama Elementary, tweeted Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. "A leader we can be proud of!"
Thank you Richmond City School Board for re-naming JEB Stuart Elementary, Barack Obama Elementary. A leader we can be proud of! pic.twitter.com/HijEqoXuHq— Levar M. Stoney (@LevarStoney) June 19, 2018
Photo credit: Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch
“This is the former capital of the Confederacy, and J.E.B. Stuart is an individual who fought to preserve slavery," said Jason Kamras, the Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools. “And I couldn’t think of a more fitting change in the arc of history to have a school named after our first African American president."
According to the school district's spokeswoman Kenita Bowers, the name change could go into effect by next school year.