Windsor highschool adopts new group title over racist roots of Rebels

Riverside Secondary College (RSS) has selected the Stingers as its new group title after leaving behind the Rebels’ title and emblem previous this yr over its hyperlinks to white supremacy and anti-Black racism.

The east-end Windsor, Ont., highschool introduced the brand new title in a video posted to YouTube previous this month in what the fundamental is describing as a comfortable release.

“I feel that we made the correct resolution. We are doing what we really feel is correct for our scholars, and for our team of workers and group,” fundamental Dina Salinitri informed CBC Information. “We are figuring out the significance of inclusion and fairness.”

Angelina Ebegbuzie, a former Riverside pupil and member of the Better Essex County District College Board (GECDSB) Anti Black Racism Advisory Committee, mentioned the title exchange used to be due — although it must have came about quicker.

“It is a in point of fact nice day,” she mentioned. “It is about time.”

Windsor highschool adopts new group title over racist roots of Rebels
Angelina Ebegbuzie, a former Riverside pupil and present member of the GECDSB Anti Black Racism Advisory Committee, says the title exchange must have came about quicker. (Jennifer L. a. Grassa/CBC)

Historical past of the title

The verdict to modify the title happened on account of scholars who flagged issues in December 2021, a faculty board professional prior to now mentioned.

Final wintry weather, the board mentioned the title Rebels refers to Accomplice squaddies, who fought to handle the enslavement of Black other folks within the U.S. They had been known as Rebels or “Johnny Rise up.

“The relationship between pro-enslavement, anti-Black hate and the Rise up title is conveyed in RSS yearbooks and a newspaper article which have been came upon from the ’60s, ’80s and ’90s,” the GECDSB mentioned.

“Those data show the Accomplice flag as RSS’s ‘faculty spirit’ flag, and a mascot wearing KKK garb sporting the Accomplice flag.”

The brand new Riverside Stingers emblem is observed in a symbol from the college’s YouTube account. (Riverside Secondary College/YouTube)

A white supremacist nation singer additionally makes use of the title Johnny Rise up.

In 2021, the college modified the mascot’s title from Johnny Rise up to Captain Rise up, a choice that the college board apologized for in its commentary explaining that the Rise up title could be got rid of altogether.

Different colleges, together with a number of in Ontario, have in a similar way stopped the usage of Rebels, the board mentioned.

Making a welcoming position

Ebegbuzie, who may be president of the gang Black Girls of Ahead Motion, mentioned that 30 years in the past when she used to be a pupil, the associations surrounding the title had been identified.

“We in point of fact didn’t just like the title, particularly once we discovered out the place it got here from,” she mentioned.

“Simply believe going to a college and learning that the mascot that you need to put on to your jersey and you have got to chant to and some of these different issues with faculty satisfaction has to do with any individual who in point of fact hated you.”

She mentioned those that do not make stronger converting the title must believe the explanations at the back of the exchange and why it used to be so necessary to take action.

“I’d hope that even those who’ve the nostalgia at the back of the title nonetheless really remember the fact that sure, you had been a Riverside Rise up and that is the reason what you graduated as, however the other folks to return now will probably be Riverside Stingers,” mentioned Ebegbuzie.

“Let’s ensure that it is a position that everyone feels welcome.”

Dave Cooke, a Riverside alumnus and previous board trustee and Ontario schooling minister, mentioned he helps the title exchange so long as the present scholars are proud of the method at the back of it.

“If the scholars make stronger the brand new title and image, then I am reasonably glad to make stronger it as smartly,” Cooke mentioned.

He took factor, then again, with how the college went about putting off the symbols. They returned to in-person finding out to search out the trademarks and crests got rid of or coated up, which he mentioned led to dissatisfied. He mentioned the college may have used it as a teachable second.

Salinitri, the fundamental, mentioned there used to be a presentation at the day scholars returned with a question-and-answer consultation to be in contact the exchange to them.

College labored from over 50 title tips

The Stingers used to be picked out of greater than 50 tips, which have been ultimately whittled right down to a brief record of 4, the college mentioned.

A rebranding committee made shows on every selection and consulted with team of workers, scholars, oldsters and alumni ahead of you make a decision in June.

The group title permits the college to stay its gold-and-black color scheme — one thing the rebranding committee had regarded as a demand.

Probably the most elements that bought them at the title is it lent itself to the idea that of the college group as a hive, mentioned Salinitri.

Salinitri mentioned the professional release of the rebrand will take position in September.

For extra tales concerning the reviews of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to luck tales throughout the Black group — take a look at Being Black in Canada, a CBC undertaking Black Canadians will also be pleased with. You’ll learn extra tales right here.

Being Black in Canada highlights tales about Black Canadians. (CBC)

Hafidah Rosyid

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