CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted Tuesday evening to rename Barringer Academic Center for Charles H. Parker, a late local activist who helped build the West Boulevard community. It is the second vote this year to change schools named for people with racist connections or backgrounds.
According to the district, the elementary school has a magnet program named after Osmond Barringer, who developed the area near West Boulevard, where the school was built. In October 2020, it was revealed the Barringer namesake is connected to supporters of white supremacy. Shortly after, CMS launched the renaming process.
Starting next school year, the school will be Charles H. Parker Academic Center.
“We are proud to rename this school for Mr. Parker, who was born into slavery and who went on to build schools, establish churches and provide affordable housing in the African-American community,” said Elyse Dashew, Board chair. “His legacy in public education in Charlotte, as well as his visionary civic activism, will serve as an inspiration to students and the school and our district as a whole.”
The CMS board chose between three options: Charles Parker, Samuel Banks Bride and Charles Sifford, all Black men who have made significant impacts on Charlotte and surrounding communities.
“We do not want our schools to intentionally or unintentionally demonstrate values that our district does not support,” Winston said. “As our nation continues the journey toward full equality for all citizens, we think these names and symbols are important.”
Former students, parents and members of the community voted on the name choices last month. The deadline for public voting was March 18. At Tuesday night's meeting, members of the board will reveal the outcome of the vote and will decide whether to approve the name voted on by the community.