UB Buildings with Racist Namesakes Removed
The University at Buffalo announced that it will rename buildings that are named after men with racists views.
The names Millard Fillmore, James O. Putnam and Peter B. Porter will be removed from prominence at the University at Buffalo. UB is making the move to remove the names from buildings and a road due to the racist views of the men, according to WIVB.
Clearly, historical namings on our campus — whether academic buildings, residential halls, interior spaces or thoroughfares — carry important symbolic value. We want to ensure that these symbols align with our mission — namely, that we are a diverse, inclusive scholarly community. ~ President Satish K. Tripathi via WIVB
Millard Fillmore, who Millard Fillmore Academic Center is named after, was one of the founders of UB. The him. He was also the 13th President of the United States. He was perceived to be supportive of slave owners and even passed a law that prohibited people from helping slaves escape.
"As vice president, Fillmore quietly expressed his support of a compromise in slavery legislation and thus appeared sympathetic to slave-owning interests. During Fillmore’s single term as president, he passed the Fugitive Slave Act (1850), which made it a crime to support slaves trying to escape to free territories." ~ History.com
Putnam’s Marketplace Eatery in the Student Union and Putnam Way are the namesakes of James O. Putnam, who was a slave owner and espoused racist views. Putnam Way will now be known as Mary Talbert Way, after a pioneer in the Niagara Movement and the Phyllis Wheatley Club.
"Mary Burnett married William Talbert in 1891 and moved with him to Buffalo, NY. She was a founding member of the Phyllis Wheatley Club, the first in Buffalo to affiliate with the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. The Club established a settlement house and helped organize the first chapter of the NAACP (1910)." ~ National Women's Hall of Fame
Porter Quadrangle, a dorm building, which was named after Peter B. Porter, will be renamed later. Porter was also a slave owner.
The changes will be put in place before the start of the fall semester.