Photo credits: Larry Downing/AFP/Getty Images
A mostly black elementary magnet school in the Jackson, Mississippi public school district will be get getting a new name that is on the right side of history.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, a daily newspaper that serves the city of Jackson, Davis Magnet IB’s name was changed to Barack Obama Magnet IB after a meeting held earlier this month, which was hosted by the Board of Trustees for Jackson Public Schools. District stakeholders voted unanimously in favor of the decision.
The Clarion-Ledger also reported that 98 percent of the students who attend Davis Magnet IB are black. Janelle Jefferson, the President of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association made an official announcement proclaiming the great news on the evening of October 17th.
“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” Jefferson said at the recent meeting.
“[We want our school’s name] to reflect a person who fully represents the ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves,” Jefferson continued.
The Davis Magnet IB elementary school’s former name is derived from Jefferson Davis, a Confederate politician who was adamantly in favor of American slavery. Davis was born in 1808 and died in 1889. He was a former president of the Confederate States and a former Democratic U.S. House and Senate legislator.
Davis was also a plantation owner who utilized the forced free labor of black slaves to gain economic prosperity and power during the 19th century.
Renaming an elementary school that is almost totally black in honor of America’s first black president is much more fitting in a day and age where people are trying more than ever to permanently bury and disavow America’s dishonorably historic legacy of oppressing black people.