Florida State president accepts 2 of 3 recommendations for revoking honors for slave owners

Florida State University took two actions Tuesday regarding removal of names and likenesses linked to the U.S. era of slavery.

University President John Thrasher announced that the school plans to remove a statue of Francis Eppes from its Westcott Plaza and will seek approval from the Florida Legislature to remove the name of former Florida Supreme Court Justice B.K. Roberts from a building at the College of Law, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

The actions were recommended by a 15-member advisory panel that Thrasher appointed last September, soon after the “Unite the Right” rally at Charlottesville, Va., that resulted in a woman’s death.

The violence at Charlottesville spurred many communities across the U.S. to reexamine the appropriateness of statues and other tributes to figures linked to the Confederacy.

According to the report, Eppes was a grandson of President Thomas Jefferson who owned slaves and was sympathetic to the Confederate cause during the Civil War. Considered a founder of Florida State, Eppes was honored with the statue in 2002, the newspaper reported.

Roberts was a segregationist who blocked Virgil Hawkins, an African-American, from being admitted to the University of Florida law school, the report said.

A third recommendation by Thrasher’s advisory panel was not accepted. It called for the removal of Eppes’ name from Eppes Hall, which houses the university’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Democrat reported.

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