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A Name Change May Be a Start, but It Is Not Enough


Leah D. Williams


November 8, 2020

Since the broadcast killing of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers on May 25, all levels of government, and institutions of every kind, have scrambled with breakneck speed to confront their own ties to America’s most deeply entrenched demons: White supremacy and systematic racism. Washington and Lee has certainly not been exempt from this reckoning. A majority of its faculty and student body have already passed resolutions calling for the removal of Robert E. Lee’s name from the university. As a direct descendent of those enslaved by the school, I commend these resolutions; yet, I strongly offer that a name change may be a start, but it is not enough to reconcile the sins of the past.


Leah D. Williams, A Name Change May Be a Start, but It Is Not Enough, 77 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 59 (2020).