Radford University to Rename a Building That Honors a White Supremacist

Radford University in Virginia has decided to rename Powell Hall, a building on campus that houses the music and art departments. The building, which opened in 1967, was named after John Powell, a pianist and composer, who had died in 1963.

But Powell was also a white supremacist. He was the founder of the White Top Folk Festival that was created to honor the music of the white race. He also was a key supporter of the 1924 Racial Integrity Law which banned interracial marriage in Virginia. In a 1923 treatise entitled Music and Nation, Powell wrote, “We know that no higher race has ever been able to preserve its culture, to prevent decay and eventual degeneracy when tainted, even slightly, with negro blood.”