To the editor:
Students deserve to matriculate at a school bearing the name of someone who inspires them, a role model in fact. Students attending T.C. Williams High School are denied such a privilege. Why? White privilege?
Or, just casting a blind eye, on the part of the City of Alexandria, to the racist core of T.C. Williams, after whom the school is currently named?
Sargent Jerry Murray gets my vote for the re-naming.
For more than 35 years, Sarge’s Restaurant on Queen Street in Old Town was an oasis – warm and welcoming – to Alexandria’s citizens, and particularly, the citizens of the large black population in the underserved Parker-Gray community.
Sarge, as he was known, served his country, retiring from the U.S. Army, where he honed and applied his culinary skills, which were the signature of Sarge’s Restaurant. And, youth in the Parker-Gray community were beneficiaries of his mentoring and support.
The business community of Old Town also recognized Sarge’s leadership, and on the occasion of Sarge’s 80th birthday, U.S. Congressman James Moran declared August 29, 2010, Sargent Jerry Murray Day in the City of Alexandria. Sarge died recently on May 24, 2020.
Do right by the current and future students attending T.C. Williams High School. No less than any other young adults, they deserve a school bearing the name of someone worthy of their vision and aspirations.
Rename T.C. Williams “Sargent Jerry Murray High.” Why? Because It’s the right thing to do.
-Evon Ervin, District of Columbia