“This is a huge accomplishment for us”
This brings the removal of campus monuments to a whole new level.
UW-Madison moves forward on plan to move 70-ton boulder seen as symbol of racist past
UW-Madison is moving forward on a plan to remove a boulder from Observatory Hill after calls from students of color who see the rock as a painful reminder of the history of racism on campus.
The 70-ton boulder is officially known as Chamberlin Rock in honor of Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and former university president. But the rock was referred to at least once after it was dug out of the hill as a “niggerhead,” a commonly used expression in the 1920s to describe any large dark rock.
The Campus Planning Committee unanimously voted last week to recommend to Chancellor Rebecca Blank that the boulder be removed from Observatory Hill. Blank has previously indicated she supports the rock’s removal, though a timeline for removal has not been established.
The Wisconsin Black Student Union called for the rock’s removal over the summer. President Nalah McWhorter said the rock is a symbol of the daily injustices that students of color face on a predominantly white campus.
“This is a huge accomplishment for us,” she said on Wednesday. “We won’t have that constant reminder, that symbol that we don’t belong here.”
McWhorter also faulted the Wisconsin State Journal for printing the vulgarity in a 1925 news article.
University historians identified the news story as the only known instance of the offensive term being used. It’s unclear whether or for how long people on campus referred to the boulder as “Niggerhead Rock.” The term itself appears to have fallen out of common usage by the 1950s.
NOT A JOKE: The University of Wisconsin is removing a rock from campus because of its racist history. https://t.co/VdLgISht8Z
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) November 19, 2020
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.