Replace May 7, 1860 Renaming of Wingate Hall

Replace May 7, 1860 Renaming of Wingate Hall

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Chloe Baker started this petition to Wake Forest University Students and

On May 7th 2021, Wake Forest University announced its plans to rename Wingate Hall. Wingate Hall was previously named after Wake Forest's 4th president Washington Manly Wingate who held the position from 1853-1862. Under his management, our institution sold 16 enslaved people at an auction on May 7th, 1860. Our institution sold human beings like animals and Wingate let it happen. Due to this egregious act, the hall should be renamed. The administration decided that the best replacement for "Wingate Hall" would be "May 7, 1860 Hall". A memorialization of the day that Wake Forest University sold Black people like property.

Wake has been trying to do more to acknowledge its role in the use of enslaved people in our institutions history. While this is a good thing in theory, this decision is not the way to move forward. As a student of color at Wake, I am not looking for a reminder of the day people that looked like my family and me were bought and sold in such an inhumane and disgusting manner. By deciding to name the Hall after the date Wingate allowed the sale to take place, administration is memorializing the exact reason they decided to take his name down in the first place. The administration is putting up a constant reminder of racial trauma for Black Wake Forest students as if being Black at Wake Forest isn't already hard enough. The administration thinks they are acknowledging what happened, perhaps they even think they're memorializing those people our institution treated as subhuman. I can say with confidence that, if this was their goal, they have failed. 

The Hall should instead celebrate black excellence by replacing the name "Wingate" with the name of a notable Black alum, the name of a notable Black figure from Wake Forest or Winston-Salem history or something else of the sort. Do not memorialize the repulsive manner with which our institution used to treat Black people, celebrate the Black excellence in our community in place of that racist's name. The events of May 7, 1860 should be acknowledged by our institution, but this is not the way to do it. Let students of color on campus assist with finding a solution to this problem by being an active part of replacing the proposed name. Show us that administration cares about Black Wake students by listening to this petition and taking action.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!