The University of Wisconsin is moving forward with plans to remove a giant 70 ton boulder known as Chamberlin Rock from their Observatory Hill out of concerns over a racist past.
Per Madison.com “the 70-ton boulder is officially known as Chamberlin Rock in honor of Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and former university president. But the rock was referred to at least once after it was dug out of the hill as a “n*ggerhead,” a commonly used expression in the 1920s to describe any large dark rock.”
The report adds “the Campus Planning Committee unanimously voted last week to recommend to Chancellor Rebecca Blank that the boulder be removed from Observatory Hill. Blank has previously indicated she supports the rock’s removal, though a timeline for removal has not been established.”
Black Student Union president Nalah McWhorter said “You clearly see what the rock was called and you can’t deny the history. Additionally you can’t deny the way it makes some people feel. If you’re not going to move the things that are disrespectful to us because other students love it, put something up that us Black and brown students can celebrate.”
Earlier in the summer the Black Student Union also wanted to remove an Abraham Lincoln statue from Bascom Hill.
McWhorter said in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal “for him to be at the top of Bascom as a powerful placement on our campus, it’s a single-handed symbol of white supremacy.”
From June 25, 2020: