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Keeping Stanley name on library could stir up 'hornet's nest' of anger [Letter]
The recent revelation of Charles H. Stanley's years of service (1862-65) in the Confederate Army — and his presumed support of the institution of slavery — cannot be overlooked in the selection of a name for the new Laurel library. The fact that the site adjoins Emancipation Park, a focus of activities involving the African-American residents of the Grove, greater Laurel and Prince George's County, is both ironic and significant. The park is the site of the annual celebration of Emancipation Day, which marked the end of slavery in America. It would be a slap in the face of the African-American community to name the library after Charles H. Stanley, knowing what we know now. The kinder, gentler name to put forward in this awkward, unexpected and unfortunate situation is "Laurel Library." Charles H. Stanley had his memorial library for 47 years (from 1967 to 2014). I doubt if he would want to stir up a hornet's nest of anger and resentment by having his name attached to the new building. Let's let him rest in peace.
March 12, 2014