Do Not Change the Name of Charles B Aycock High School In Wayne County, North Carolina
This petition made change with 2,102 supporters!
We the tax paying citizens, Alumni, Students and Friends of Charles B Aycock High School understand that the Wayne County NAACP is planning to ask that Charles B Aycock High School be renamed due to what they call Gov. Aycocks racist views of the Wilmington Race Riots of 1898. We do not believe Dr Tysons book concerning the Riots to be completely factual as Governor Aycock was a champion for the Blacks as well as Whites fighting for an education for both.
The defense for Gov. Aycock is the context of his times and how he stood up for blacks against universal popular opinion in North Carolina and the whole country to keep them down.
In 1900, white supremacy was the reigning ideology in all of America. This was especially so in the North and Midwest. The intellectual bastion of white supremacy was Harvard, with its School of Scientific Racism. The U.S. Supreme Court had rendered in 1892 its decision in Plessy v. Ferguson allowing racial segregation in the public realm. All the states then started implementing racial segregation. This was the key issue for Progressives to support.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties in every state and at the national level were expelling blacks from public office and from any influence. With much pride and acclaim, the Democrats called it "Jim Crow" and the Republicans called it being "Lily White."
Josephus Daniels as Editor of the Raleigh News & Observer was the most vocal and the leading proponent in N.C. for white supremacy and attempted to use Aycock as his tool.
In this context, Gov. Aycock defied Daniels and asked the state legislature for equal funding for black schools. It refused and wanted no funding for black schools. Gov. Aycock then threatened to resign from office unless there was equal funding. The state legislature then caved to Gov. Aycock and voted close to equal funding. Daniels turned against Gov. Aycock (although they were childhood friends).
The most notable quote from Gov. Aycock is the "equal right of every person for the opportunity to burgeon out all that is within him." He further said before he died that "equality" is what he wants to be known for.
This is the sentiment of a true egalitarian, and not that of a white supremacist.
Gov. Aycock was an egalitarian during the heyday of racial inequality.
I urge you and your colleagues of the Wayne County NC School Board to consider the thought that Aycock was not racist and consider the facts of a man that cared for all and allow the memory of Aycock to stand as it does today with his name not bothered and still standing for over 50 years as Charles B Aycock High School..
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