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UMD STUDENT PROTEST PRECEDES FREDERICK DOUGLASS STATUE DEDICATION

UMD STUDENT PROTEST PRECEDES FREDERICK DOUGLASS STATUE DEDICATION

By Hallie Miller, The Diamondback

Photo by Ornelle Chimi

Minutes before the start of Wednesday’s Frederick Douglass Square dedication ceremony, about 10 student protesters urged University of Maryland officials to remove Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd’s name from the campus’s football stadium. 

Led by senior sociology major Colin Byrd, who is not related to the stadium’s namesake, the group took the stage and demanded that the university act quickly to remove the name of the former university president, who protesters said was a racist and segregationist, from the stadium. In September, university President Wallace Loh created a work group of faculty, staff, students and alumni to help consider renaming the stadium.

The protest follows Georgetown University’s Tuesday announcement regarding the upcoming name change of two on-campus buildings currently named after slaveholders.

“The students that voiced their concerns prior to today’s dedication was not planned,” university spokeswoman Crystal Brown said in a statement. “However, the expression of ideas and the pursuit of equity and social justice are exactly what Frederick Douglass represented and exemplify why the Square is so important for our entire campus community.”

Read more here.

Date of Publication: 
11/18/15