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Hank Aaron's name replacing Klan leader's on Atlanta school

Atlanta’s school board voted this week to rename a high school after baseball great Hank Aaron, removing the name of a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

In a unanimous vote, the city’s school board will rename Forrest Hill Academy to the Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

The school was named after the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. 

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Aaron died earlier this year, and the school district waived its district policy of waiting five years after a person died to name a school building after them.

"It's very important that we understand our history, it's very important that we understand where we are coming from ... it gives a lot of credence to our character and our morals,” said board member Michelle Olympiadis. 

This comes as schools across the country are removing Confederate imagery and slavery symbols after national outrage and protests broke out in 2020 following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Aaron, who died in January at the age of 86, broke racial barriers and endured racism throughout his 20-year Major League Baseball career. 

The Atlanta Braves legend passed Babe Ruth as the all-time home run record leader in 1974, which stood for 33 years.