Lafayette Park has a New Name!

Thanks in small part to the hard work of our SPARK club members from last year, our park and rec center will now be known as Lafayette-Pointer Park. This change reflects the hard history that was recently discovered about the land our school was built upon. The land was owned by the descendants of Capt. George Pointer, who had been born into enslavement, bought his freedom and became a prominent businessman who helped to build the C&O Canal and transport the materials used to build the White House and other important federal buildings. His descendants lived on the Lafayette land until the 1920s when they were forced off their land and paid a fraction of its value so that the government could build a park and school for white families that wanted to move into the neighborhood. This is a sad and dark part of our history that has to be recognized before we can move forward to creating a world free of systemic racism. I am so proud of our Lafayette students, especially former students Marleigh McKay and Penelope Mason who testified before the Council in the fall, for their advocacy. As James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”