Upper Arlington letter: High school should be renamed to honor local Black history

Lee Cochran
ThisWeek group

To the editor:

I want to suggest that Upper Arlington High School be renamed The Pleasant Litchford High School.  

My suggestion derives from the archeological excavation of the remains of the Litchford cemetery beneath the current reconstruction site of the new high school. Litchford was a Black former slave who owned the land upon which Upper Arlington is built. His story has been elaborated in the media, on the UA website and in a special archive in our library.  

Letter to the editor

The suggestion is timely because it channels the current racial strife of our nation. Although our city has been quiet, the conflict has been with us all along. Realizing that UA is a stronghold of white privilege, we residents are all responsible, by proxy, for the systematic racial segregation of our community over the last century. During this time all but White families were formally excluded from our city. Ironically, Litchford and his family would not have been allowed to live in UA even though he owned the original land.  

As partial restitution for this egregious injustice, let us make the formal gesture of renaming the high school after the Black man who was our early neighbor. This symbolic renaming will honor Pleasant Litchford as the catalyst of anticipated racial balance that we would welcome in our city over the next century. Let us envision that in another 100 years the racial integration of our city will match that of our nation.  

Clark L. Anderson  

Upper Arlington