University of South Carolina adds context to its history

Richard T. Greener (Source: Wikimedia)

As some Southern universities grapple with uncomfortable truths about their histories, struggling with calls to rename or remove memorials and monuments to figures related to slavery and the Confederacy, the University of South Carolina is taking a different approach.

On Wednesday, the school unveils its tribute to Richard T. Greener, its first black professor and among the first black graduates of its law school. University officials say the bronze likeness is more than just the first-ever statue on the system's flagship campus in Columbia.

It's emblematic of what they see as a more holistic approach to acknowledging the history of a centuries-old institution that has some of its roots in the Confederacy and slave-owning culture: adding context to, rather than removing, parts of its history it cannot change.

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