Duke University officials have changed the name of a dorm that honors a known white supremacist.
The dorm, formerly named after racist leader and North Carolina governor Charles B. Aycock, will now be know as East Residence Hall.
Aycock, who served as governor from 1901 to 1905, has had his name affixed to the building for more than 100 years. But that is coming to an end after the university’s Board of Trustees voted to revert the building to its original name, East Residence Hall, after petitions from the student body urged the school to re-evaluate the former governor’s legacy.
“Today, 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and at the conclusion of a commemoration of integration at Duke, the values of inclusion and nondiscrimination are key parts of the university’s mission,” Duke President Richard H. Brodhead wrote in a letter to student body leaders Monday. “After careful consideration, we believe it is no longer appropriate to honor a figure who played so active a role in the history that countered those values.”
Aycock was a leading spokesman for the Democractic Party’s white supremacist activities in the state in the late 1890s. He was part of a campaign based on fear and intimidation. It’s primary focus was to forcefully suppress the black vote and sow racial distrust.
North Carolina also has a high school named after Aycock, along with a monument in the state Capitol.
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