What to Know
- A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday for the Davis Barracks, named after a grad of West Point who was shunned for being black
- Lawmakers said this week that they want the secretary of the Army to rename the Robert E. Lee Barracks at West Point
- Communities across the nation are removing Confederate memorials and symbols or considering doing so
The U.S. Military Academy has opened a new barracks named after a graduate who was shunned by fellow cadets at West Point because he was black.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday for the Davis Barracks, named after Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. It was attended by academy and Army officials and a nephew of Davis' from Waterbury, Connecticut.
Davis was West Point's only black cadet when he arrived in 1932. He lived alone and no cadets spoke to him unless it was necessary. He graduated in 1936.
Davis became an Army Air Forces pilot and led a fighter group of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. He joined the Air Force when it became a separate service in 1947 and was its first black general. He died in 2002.
A growing national effort to remove monuments or honors to Robert E. Lee and other leading figures of the Confederacy has reached West Point, where Lee learned to be a soldier and later served as superintendent before resigning from the U.S. Army to lead Confederate troops during the Civil War. It's also where a cadet barracks is named after him.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, both Democrats, want the secretary of the Army to rename the 55-year-old Robert E. Lee Barracks. The request, first reported Wednesday by the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, follows last weekend's deadly white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
After a woman was killed and dozens others injured when a car rammed into a crowd near a Lee statue, communities across the nation are removing Confederate memorials and symbols or considering doing so.
On Friday, the MTA confirmed that it is replacing tiles that resemble Confederate flags at the Times Square subway station.