Austin American-Statesman Interviews Alderman about Renaming Schools with Confederate Names

The largest school district in Texas this month voted to rename four schools with names linked to the Confederacy. The Austin American-Statesman spoke to UT geographer Derek Alderman for the story.

Confederate symbols nationwide are facing review over concerns about racism.

“I think it’s important to realize that even before Charleston, we had some pretty highly publicized incidents of African-Americans pushing for changes in the way we as an American society deal with African-American expression and African-American memories and the role of white supremacy in our culture,” Alderman told the publication. He began a project last year to map Confederate symbolism nationwide.

He noted in the article that any removal of a Confederacy-linked name needs to be done as part of a larger discussion about the legacy of white supremacy, slavery and racism. “In some cases the struggle over the renaming has sparked a useful discussion of how do we remember this person and can we come to terms with the things they carried out in the past and the context of what we presently believe as a society,” he said. Read the story online.