The Schools That Bear the Names of Segregationists
Schools named in honor of post-Civil War politicians who supported racial segregation are located in eight states throughout the South, Education Week found. These 22 schools bear the names of members of Congress who in 1956 signed what was known as the Southern Manifesto, a document that vociferously opposed the integration of public schools in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that declared racial segregation of public schools unconstitutional. Unlike the schools that memorialize Confederate leaders, those named for segregationists haven’t provoked the same level of scrutiny or prompted as many campaigns to rename them. But in one South Carolina community, black students and residents fought long ago to change the name of Strom Thurmond High School, without success. Named for one of the state’s most influential politicians and one of its foremost supporters of segregation, Strom Thurmond High has a student body that is currently 50 percent African-American.
A growing movement to shed Confederate names on public schools has drawn attention in recent years. But public schools named in honor of segregationists haven't drawn the same level of scrutiny.
In the South Carolina high school named for the state's best-known senator and segregationist, a majority of students are African-American.
Education Week found 22 public schools named after politicians who signed the Southern Manifesto opposing school integration after the 1954 Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision.