Selma CHAT Academy name change approved

Published 1:42am Friday, May 11, 2012

The Selma City School board voted Thursday to officially change the name of Selma Middle CHAT Academy to R.B. Hudson Middle School, after a recommendation came from board member Brenda R. Obamanu. Those voting for the name change were board members Obamanu and Holland Powell and board president Henry Hicks.

Obamanu, who made the motion on behalf of board member Dr. Udo Ufamado, who was absent, read a brief history of Richard Byron Hudson, an educator whom the school was once named for.

Obamanu was in favor of the name change to “preserve our history in Selma” and “continue the legacy” that Hudson left for future generations.

“We had a town hall meeting and we heard from some legendary citizens of Selma, Alabama, who talked to us about Dr. R.B. Hudson,” Obamanu said. “Dr. Richard Byron Hudson was one of the citizens that left us with a legacy that continues to touch lives today right here in our city … “

Former R.B. Hudson High student Henry Allen, who also spearheaded the name-change project, was pleased during the announcement of the name change.

In a previous interview with the Times-Journal, Allen mentioned the name change would give students a sense of pride in their history.

“When you change the name to R.B. Hudson, the children will have something to identify with. It will have a great impact,” Allen said. “It’s a historic site (and) has made a great impact on this city.”

Also during the meeting, Powell called attention to a letter from a resident who requested the board consider adding the name A.G. Parrish to Selma High School’s new auditorium.

Hicks said the board is considering looking at the addition as an option.

“We visited that the day before yesterday, they are remounting the front of Selma High and Mr. Parrish’s name is already embedded in that,” Hicks said. “We will follow the same procedures that we did with R.B. Hudson in public forums … Mr. (Gerald) Shirley, will bring that back to us.”

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