Barack Obama To Have School Renamed After Him; School Formerly Named After Confederate General

Former President Barack Obama will have a Richmond, Virginia school named in his honor.

J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School–named after a Confederate War general–will now be renamed Barack Obama Elementary School.

Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America.

One School Board member, Kenya Gibson, opposed the renaming, saying she thought a local leader should have been given the honor instead of the nation’s first Black President, a man who many in the Black community admire, but feel could have done a lot more to improve African Americans’ situation in the country.

“This is Richmond and we are about history and we have so many great local stories to tell,” said Kenya Gibson, who represents the elementary school, on the Board, said to The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Our local stories are so important to cherish.”

Another Board member, Jonathan Young, did not attend the meeting but told reporters he would have voted against the change since he would rather the school system improve the condition of some of the district’s notoriously run-down school instead.

“Prayerfully we are done renaming buildings and can instead start renovating them,” Young said before the vote.

The Richmond school is not the first to be renamed after the history making former POTUS: School officials in New Haven, Conn., announced last week that a new elementary school would be named after the 44th president.

And an elementary school in Upper Marlboro, Md., is already named after him.

A number of municipalities across the country have moved to rename statues and institutions that memorialize Confederate figures who fought to maintain slavery.