A Virginia elementary school will no longer bear the name of a Confederate general.
Instead, the Richmond Public School board voted to approve a name change to honor of former President Barack Obama.
What are the details?
The former J.E.B. Stuart Elementary will soon be called Barack Obama Elementary in a move approved 6-1 by the school board members, according to WTVR-TV.
Barack Obama Elementary was just one of seven suggestions for renaming the school.
— Brendan King CBS 6 (@ImBrendanKing) June 19, 2018
According to a school flyer obtained by WTVR, others on the short list — which was presented as a ballot on which students could vote — included:
- Northside Elementary: This choice would reflect the pride that we have in the neighborhood and location of our school.
- Wishtree: There is a book with this same title and it tells the story of a tree that has watched different families move in and out of the area for years. The story is about celebrating different cultures in a diverse neighborhood.
- Oliver Hill: He was a Civil Rights attorney who lived here in Richmond, VA. He helped many people and played a huge role in ending the idea of "separate but equal."
- Barbara Johns: She was a Civil Rights leader. She led a student strike at her high school in Farmville, Virginia to bring attention to the poor conditions at her school. Eventually, thank [sic] to brave acts like this one, things got better for the students at her school.
- Albert Norrell: He was a long-time Richmond educator, whose family of educators served the Richmond community for over a hundred years.
- Henry Marsh: He was a Civil Rights leaders [sic] and the first African-American mayor of Richmond.
- Barack Obama: He was the first African American president of the United States of America.
WTVR reported that the suggestions came from the educational community, to include parents, students, and teachers, as well as those from the Richmond community.
The station noted that the school's student body is about 95 percent African-American.
Who was J.E.B. Stuart, anyway?
James Ewell Brown Stuart was a Confederate general during the Civil War who hailed from Virginia.
Stuart led his men on "two successful circumnavigations of the Union Army of the Potomac in 1862," which garnered his reputation as the "eyes and ears" of the Confederate Army.
Some blamed Stuart for the Confederacy's Gettysburg defeat after reportedly failing to provide Lee with enough information on the positions of Union soldiers.
Stuart was 31 years old when he was killed at the Battle of Yellow Tavern in 1864.