TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The University of Alabama has decided to remove from an academic building the name of a white doctor who misused medical evidence to support slavery, according to school officials.
The system’s board of trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to strip the name of Dr. Josiah Nott from the campus facility which houses the Honors College, labs and offices, and replace it with Honors Hall, news outlets reported.
Nott helped found the university’s medical school in Mobile and the building bearing his name on the Tuscaloosa campus opened in the 1920s. But a working group the board appointed in June to review building names found that the doctor’s contributions to the university were “minimal at best.”
“Our group found that Josiah Nott, who supported slavery, misused medical evidence to argue that non-white races were inferior and that my ancestors, like scores of others, were destined for destruction,” said Trustee John England, who is Black.
“Of course, I’m still here,” England added.
The university previously authorized the removal of plaques dedicated to Confederate soldiers from a campus quad. Board president pro tempore Ronald Gray said Wednesday that the work is ongoing and “far from finished,” news outlets reported.
The action comes as other universities and institutions around the world have faced calls to address racist legacies. Protesters in the U.S. have also called for Confederate monuments and other icons to be removed during this year’s demonstrations against racial injustice.