By Selah Vetter, Staff Writer
Students in the Black Student Union hope to build a memorial for a black slave who died saving Samford students. According to Samford University, Harry, a slave and janitor, saved students from a fire in a Samford building in 1854.
Spectators advised Harry to stay out of the fiery building, but he sacrificed himself to save the students. The students in the Black Student Union want the memorial to be placed within Harry’s Coffeehouse. Harry’s Coffeehouse, within the University Center, is named after Harry.
While there is a plaque memorializing him on Centennial Walk, the Black Student Union hopes to commemorate him further in the place that is his namesake. Representatives from the Black Student Union proposed the idea of the memorial at an SGA meeting.
“The purpose of senate meetings is to allow student representatives to voice a variety of perspectives on any given issue to ensure we arrive at thoughtful and informed consensus,” SGA president Heath Padgett said. However, there are students that oppose the Black Student Union’s idea of the memorial for Harry. Some senators in SGA are opposed to the idea. They do not believe Harry’s
Coffeehouse is an appropriate place for a memorial.
“SGA is not hesitant about acknowledging and honoring Harry’s contribution to the history of Samford. There is an ongoing discussion
in senate about the best means to support and accomplish this goal,” Padgett said.
Padgett said there are also larger plans for constructing a memorial in the future being led by the university and that Samford plans to build a memorial for Harry.
“SGA leadership is aware of larger university plans to construct an appropriate memorial that honors Harry and is working to ensure student voices are represented in the process,” Padgett said.