This is in reference to your recent article on renaming of Orleans Parish schools. I am not concerned with any changes in the naming of schools in Orleans Parish, except for McDonogh schools.

As was the norm of that time, John McDonogh was a slaveowner, but he allowed his slaves to work toward freedom, which was not the norm of the day.

According to the website, “In his later years, McDonogh turned his attention to the use of his great fortune for the education of the boys and girls of Baltimore and New Orleans. At the time of his death, his estate was valued in excess of $2 million dollars, but litigation, inspired in cupidity, continued for 20 years. Finally, a million and a half dollars was divided between the two public school systems for building 36 schools.” These schools were to educate the children of New Orleans, black and white.

I think it is terribly two-faced for the OPSB to use the buildings that McDonogh left and only change the name of them when they were built with money made from the sweat of slaves.

If they really wanted to be honest with themselves, like they were quoted in the article, and "honor through the naming of a school to reflect the values of the school district," they would tear down the buildings and start from the ground up with new buildings. Then the schools really would be without this horrible history.

But where would they get the money?



New Orleans