Black Student Protesters Force Historic Virginia College to Remove Confederate Flags - Atlanta Blackstar: Washington and Lee University, the nation’s ninth oldest university, released a public apology on Tuesday for its past enslavement of Africans and will remove Confederate flags from its Lee Chapel, thanks to the efforts of Black student protesters.
It could be expected that a historic Virginia school had a past rooted in slavery, but students at the university didn’t expect that history to still be on display today.
Recently, a group of Black students protested against the Confederate banners hanging in the school’s chapel next to a memorial of Robert E. Lee, who served as the general of the Confederate Army. The students said the banners made them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.
Currently, Black students only make up a little more than 3 percent of the school’s enrollment of 2,277.
Initially, school officials stood behind their decision to keep the battle flags on display because they insisted it was merely a nod to history, not a message of racism or support for slavery.
That’s when a group of Black law students, known as “the committee,” took action and delivered a list of demands to the Board of Trustees.