A University Named For Confederate, Black Students Demand Equality

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The Washington and Lee law school began observing the King holiday in 2013, but the undergraduate students still attend classes. Although Lee-Jackson Day, the Friday before the King holiday, is not a formal holiday on campus, the school does honor Lee annually around his birthday on Founder’s Day.

University president, Kenneth Ruscio, responded via an open letter to the students’ requests, stating that he has asked a “special task force” to study the history of African-Americans at the school.

“While we are aware of some of that history, I believe we should have a thorough, candid examination,” Ruscio wrote.

Many feel that the students should have known before hand that the university’s history was shrouded in racism, before applying to attend.

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