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New Jersey elementary school drops Thomas Jefferson's name over slave ownership

New Jersey elementary school removedThomas Jefferson'sname because he owned slaves, first to graduate from local school Change it to something that honors black women. high school, according to Friday's report.

According to, South Orange's Jefferson Elementary School will be renamed Delia Bolden Elementary School after students began calling for the abolition of the third president more than a year ago.

The South Orange Maplewood School Board voted in June to change his 6-3 vote, with Commissioner Qawi Telesford criticizing Jefferson's slave-owning history. .

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"Thomas Jefferson owned over 600 slaves. I would like to emphasize that he released 2 during his lifetime and 7 after his death, which basically means he has a 1.5% chance of being free in the world of Thomas Jefferson. ' said the black Telesford.

"So I'm not grateful to him. I'm grateful to the people who actually made me free and allowed me to join the board with you today." 24}

The school will celebrate Winne Delia Bolden, the first black woman to graduate from Columbia High School  in nearby Maplewood in 1912, officials said. said.

Bolden read the essay at that year's commencement, criticizing early 20th-century race politics and defending equal rights.

Her names were chosen by her fifth-grade subcommittee to include the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs, and inventor Erna Ginsburg. Chosen on behalf of Schneider.

Superintendent Ronald Taylor called the renaming "a lesson for real citizens" at a June 29 school board meeting.

"Looking at the work that [students] did, I think it exceeded the expectations of all of us who participated in that conversation. That was the end result, and it really engaged the students." The

school district said it will update school names on campus and online by Sept. 8.

There had been a push to remove Jefferson's name for over a year.
} via AP