Brooklyn school unveils sign honoring suffragist, displacing name synonymous with slavery

Brooklyn school unveils sign honoring suffragist, displacing name synonymous with slavery

A Brooklyn elementary school’s five-year journey to shed a name tied to slavery culminated on Monday with the unveiling of a sign officially renaming P.S. 9 the Sarah Smith Garnet School.

It replaced a sign featuring the name of Teunis G. Bergen, scion of a slave-holding family that made its fortune going back to the 17th century off the backs of its human property on the land then known as Breukelen.

P.S. 9 has been named after Garnet since Feb. 2019, when the school’s parent-teacher organization voted unanimously to rename the Underhill Avenue elementary school after the first Black woman to serve as a public school principal in the city.
Garnet was also a suffragist and anti-lynching activist who co-founded the Women’s Loyal League of New York and Brooklyn with Ida B. Wells and others.

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