UA Trustees Rename Manly Hall Over White Supremacist Roots
The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama voted unanimously Friday to rename Manly Hall, the home of UA's departments of Religious Studies and Gender and Race Studies.
The building will be known going forward as Presidents Hall to commemorate the service and work of all former presidents of the University of Alabama.
This is the third building on the University's campus in Tuscaloosa to be renamed as a working group of the Board of Trustees continues to review and evaluate the names of buildings, structures and spaces to ensure they "demonstrate and honor the current values of the University of Alabama System."
Manly Hall was named in 1884 after Dr. Basil Manly, the second president of the University of Alabama.
In the resolution universally adopted by the Board of Trustees, the working group acknowledged that Manly made a substantial and lasting contribution to the University of Alabama and led it safely through tumultuous times and multiple student revolts.
Manly was also a slave owner, though, and the working group found that as an ordained minister, he "misused the Bible to promote white supremacy," advocated for the perpetual bondage of the African race and said to oppose the institution of slavery was to oppose the will of God.
Manly even drafted a resolution eventually adopted by the Alabama State Baptist Convention urging Alabama to secede from the United States and wrote in a diary that he personally and severely whipped a slave owned by the University of Alabama, once for disobedience and again for not being humbled by the first whipping.
"Dr. Manly’s personal actions and his vigorous, longtime advocacy of slavery conflict profoundly with the values of the University of Alabama System as we see them today," the working group wrote. "For this reason, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees voted on November 13, 2020, to remove his name from this building."