Mississippi University will be posting signs on their pre-Civil War buildings to recognize that slaves had built those structures on their main campus.
The University’s Movement
Mississippi University will be posting signs on its campus to recognize that slaves had built some of their building structures in pre-Civil War times. The university announced on Thursday that they will also be stripping “James K. Vardaman” off of a building, recognizing him as a white supremacist.
Vardaman had previously even used racial slurs in order to denounce former president Roosevelt for having dinner with people of color.
“As governor of Mississippi, Vardaman used racial hatred and fear to shore up the white vote,” the university’s committee wrote. “From the state’s highest elected position, Vardaman also argued that education ruined black Mississippians and made the dismantling of African-American education in the state a priority.”
This comes as a continuation of the effort initiated in 2014 to provide its students with the historical context of the campus.
Previously, the university’s administration had put up a plaque providing information on the topic of slavery.
Jeffrey Vitter, the University Chancellor, said in the announcement: “As an educational institution, it is imperative we foster a learning environment and fulfill our mission by pursuing knowledge and understanding,”
The University on the Topic
“Contextualization is an important extension of a university’s responsibility to educate and provides an opportunity to learn from history,” Vitter said. “As an educational institution, it is imperative we foster a learning environment and fulfill our mission by pursuing knowledge and understanding. The CACHC embodied this approach in its work, recognizing that while our history is not by any means all that we are, it remains an important part of who we are.”
“Throughout this process, the university has sought to listen and engage in constructive and transparent conversations with all university stakeholders,” Vitter said. “In the past year, the product of the CACHC has been enriched and informed by the hundreds of individuals who provided feedback in person, through online web forms, and through individual letters, emails and calls. I am confident that our decisions with regard to these two supplemental items will be equally enhanced by public input.”
“As the work of the CACHC concludes and our formal contextualization process draws to a close, we extend profound thanks to the CACHC members for their tremendous work on this challenging but extremely important task for our university,” Vitter said.