University renaming buildings honoring white supremacists

MONTEVALLO, Ala. (AP) — The University of Montevallo, a state-run liberal arts school, will rename two buildings that honor former Alabama governors who supported white supremacy, trustees decided.

News outlets reported that the board voted Tuesday during a virtual meeting to strip the names of Braxton Bragg Comer and Bibb Graves off of academic buildings on campus, located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Birmingham.

The school created a group to consider the names of campus buildings during nationwide demonstrations that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Comer, who served four years beginning in 1907, was considered progressive but worked to maintain systems rooted in the state’s old plantation system, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama. Also a progressive, Graves was a Ku Klux Klan leader who served two terms in the 1920s and 1930s.

The university said in a news release that both men “were staunch supporters of segregation and white supremacy.”

The school will consider new names for the buildings, the statement said.

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