A High School Named for a Klansman?
Boy, white people did some wacky stuff during the Civil Rights era. Here’s one example.
In 1959, after being compelled by the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education to stop maintaining separate “but equal” public schools, the Confederate Daughters of America (CDA) in Jacksonville, Fla. exacted revenge. They led a successful drive to name a public high school after none other than Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
Spiteful and childish move, amirite? I bet you’re thinking it didn’t take long to correct that little work of malice. Well, you’d be wrong. Because to this day, students in Jacksonville continue to graduate from Forrest High.
Sure, over the years, there have been various attempts to have the name changed. After all, Forrest, a Tennessee native, had no relationship with Jacksonville. In fact, he never even visited the town. The CDA just looked around for the worst example of a white guy they could find, and there, like a shimmering star, was Nathan Bedford Forrest.