Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Tallahassee Democrat, Senate Committee OKs Bill That Lets FSU Strike B.K. Roberts Name From College of Law:
Despite passionate opposition from one of its members, the Senate Education Committee Tuesday voted in favor of a bill that would give Florida State the option of removing B.K. Roberts’s name from a building at its law school.
Senate Bill 7076 also requires the Florida Board of Governors to come up with appropriate guidelines on the naming or renaming of state university facilities.
Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said while he “loved FSU and (FSU President John) Thrasher” he could not support the measure that would allow the university to remove the avowed segregationist's name. "I think it’s a terrible precedent to strip out everything we don’t like,” Baxley said. “We are erasing our history. It is what it is. I think we should build more monuments and realize we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.
Roberts, a former chief justice, used his position to thwart the efforts of an African American, Virgil Hawkins, to gain admittance to the University of Florida law school.
Naming the main academic building at the College of Law B.K. Roberts Hall was approved in Roberts’ honor by the Legislature in 1973 for his work in bringing the college to FSU. ...
“It’s kind of embarrassing to have a law school named after a racist in this day and age,” said Robin Williams, a retired educator.