Board chairman threatens to pull funding from library if name is changed

News that Jefferson-Madison Regional Library would discuss changing its name drew the ire of Louisa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Duane Adams.

In a May 24 Facebook post, Adams (Mineral District), who is running for state Senate against Del. John McGuire, warned he would introduce a resolution to defund the library if a name change occurs.

“The woke liberal crowd is at it again! I support curriculum and actions that remember and teach our history – the good and the bad – but I will not stand for attempts to erase our history.”

Adams added that he has “stood up to woke liberals while on the Louisa County Board of Supervisors.” He did not specify in the post what he was referring to.

The library board said on May 23 it would consider a request by a group of descendants of enslaved laborers to adopt a new name, according to a published report. Noting that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were slaveholders, a representative of the group told board members that some residents will not set foot in the library because the names are offensive to them.

The library, which is more than a century old, has only been named for Jefferson and Madison since the 1970s.

At least two organizations that serve the Louisa County area, Blue Ridge Health District and Child Health Partnership, removed Jefferson from their names in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. That tragedy led to unrest across the country and caused many groups to re-think how historical figures like Jefferson are presented to the public.

 

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