George Wallace, Alabama, University Of Alabama discussed on 1A
A. I'm Todd Willie Broadcasting from WBZ H. M. in Birmingham Alabama. I have stood for one. Jefferson Davis stood and a lot of people. It is very appropriate from this cradle of comparison. This part of the Anglo Saxon south land in the dust and I say segregation now. Tamara and Sarah Gatien for George Wallace. During his inauguration as governor of Alabama in one thousand nine hundred sixty three that very year George Wallace tried to stop the integration of the University of Alabama and. He tried to stop it himself. George Wallace famously stood in the doorway foster auditorium on the school's campus to block two black students. Vivian Malone and James Hood from entering despite this history wallace. His name still appears on buildings all across Alabama including the Bell Wallace Gymnasium on the University of Alabama campus. Right here in Birmingham later. We're going to talk about Wallace's influence on shaping American populism and how his legacy has reverberated across all of America. Not just in the south but first we start here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where some students say. They don't agree with having a building named for George Wallace on their campus. Here to talk with us about George. Wallace's legacy is a current student organizer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sri Apocryphal Shrill. Welcome to one A. Thank you so much. You're having talk a little bit about the controversy around the building. I mentioned the Bell Wallace Gymnasium on the grounds of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. So like you said. It's building is named after George Wallace. Who is famous segregationist This building isn't widely used for classes currently but it's still very visible on campus and is very much a s students enter the campus for the first time as their touring is something that comes up often or the freshman year on campus. They noticed this building and they ask. Why is there a building named after segregationist on campus as diverse and promisingly inclusive as? Uab is and so. This is a conversation that continuously comes up to him. You say you say it comes up a lot. It's not it's not one or two people knocking on the door of the student union. I mean it comes up a lot among students. What do they what do they say when they say why George Wallace? Why does it say that they primarily start with our student body aside diverse and UAB claims to be very diverse and inclusive university from having programs centered around diversity departments around diversity inclusion and so having this building named after George Wallace does doesn't align with what the university claims to promote well? There's another building on campus named for Lister Hill. Who is a congressman from the fifties and sixties? Who signed the southern manifesto vowing to oppose integration of public places? Have there been any moves if not to change these names to acknowledge the segregation that these politicians espoused. What's it looked like on campus? So there's no movement around Lister Hill currently but there's a wider went around George Wallace and I'm part of a student Coalition called students for justice in Birmingham along with other three other student activists and we are working to implement human rights trail on campus. That would mark fourteen different locations on campus. Where historical civil rights movement situations occurred from Integrating UAB to the funerals of the three of the four girls who were murdered and that Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and we hope to place marker at the George Wallace building saying the holistic story of George Wallace from saying that he donated a lot of money to ABC kind of made the university what it is today by donating lots of money and furthering its medical enterprise in everything but also acknowledging that he was a segregationist and would not have agreed with a majority of the students population just for because of who they are. So what you're talking about is an effort from the perspective of you and your allies to tell the full story of George Wallace. Not just you see buildings named after someone you assume. That must've been a grand person. Who was great for my state or the state where I go to school you. You're not talking about scrubbing that. Name in Alabama. You're talking about a a fuller story so my the student group I'm part of we are working on the markers while we stand in support with removing the name. That's not the initiative that we're currently working on ourselves but we support the effort to remove the name. We got this voice mail from a listener. Who grew up in Alabama when George Wallace was governor? And here's what they had to say about. The buildings that are still named for him across the state today. Problems born and raised in Alabama in the fifties and sixties and I was there during all of that. The integration of the University and George Wallace being voted in and then his accident so I don't see a problem with those buildings being named after him because he apologized publicly to the African American. Well is black then community. Sure what do you think about what Laura has to say? That George Wallace apologized to the black community in Alabama that he had something of an emotional reckoning and Tried to make amends in front of the Public. And so that that is part of his legacy. That story is being told and so that keeping the names of the buildings is part of that. And that it's okay. Well I'm not blacks. I can't speak to the black experience or the perceptions that black people may have. It's his apology. But from my experience and from the many conversations I've had with black students and students have other marshals backgrounds on campus students primarily. See His name being on the building as a threat or makes it very uncomfortable for students to enter campus even though he apologized to the community in his later years. That wasn't his later. Years and that apology doesn't absolve everything he did when he was governor when he was making these very harmful remarks that really damaged and terrorized a lot of people or lead to the continuing continuation terrorisation. So I personally don't believe that a apology. Near the end of his life totally absolves him everything he said before And I don't know if he had from my personal experience from what I've read about him in everything I don't know if he did enough work in the leader Lee years of his life to make up sort of what he had said earlier so sure whether or not the names of the buildings come off or whether or not there are plaques or or a more fulsome telling of George Wallace story around campus. Do you feel that at the very least your activism in that of your? Your colleagues has fostered a broader conversation among campaigner students. Talking about it among each other our white students talking about its students who are from Alabama. Who maybe it's possible before they got to. The university never heard anyone say critical word about George Wallace. I would hope so Do you think it's happening? I think it is. I think our work. We've been keeping it under wraps for a long time because we've been trying to figure out finances and funding and things of that nature when we started becoming bar public about her work and talking to more students about it. We've received very very positive feedback and a lot of suggestions on what we should include next on such as including the names of the native American communities that used to reside on ABC's land before it was occupied by white settlers. So we've received a lot of great feedback from Black White Asian students Hispanic students and so I hope to continue receiving that in the future and breeding conversation on campus and continuous initiative to not only include the markers but also programs and other implementation campus. I would continue the conversation. And what about those history professors they encouraging you as? Well yes yes. Faculty Advisory Board and. They've been extremely extremely supportive and encouraging of that's good to hear a stray. Apocryphal is a student activist on the campus. Of the University of Alabama. At Birmingham there are buildings and plaques all over the campus commemorating former governor George C Wallace segregationist governor of the civil rights era who proclaimed segregation now segregation forever. Trae I wanNA thank you for broadening the conversation to us. Thank you for me. Well coming up. We're going to ask some new voices. Continue the conversation about the legacy of George Wallace in what it means in.