Aug 19, 2021 - Neighborhoods

A new name for a street that honors the Confederacy

Jefferson Davis Street in Druid Hills will be renamed to Druid Hills Way. Photo: City of Charlotte

Charlotte will rename Jefferson Davis Street to Druid Hills Way, part of an effort to reexamine symbols of racism in the city.

What’s happening: The new street name will be unveiled at a public event on Sept. 25.

The backstory: Jefferson Davis street is located in the majority-Black Druid Hills neighborhood, where Black homeowners were met with violence when they were finally allowed to move into the area. Now, it’s undergoing rapid gentrification as nearby development puts pressure on home prices.

The big picture: It’s one of nine streets named after white supremacists or Confederate leaders that the city voted to rename in February.

The changes came at the recommendation of a group of historians and others commissioned by the city in June last year. The report by the legacy commission found that most streets named after people before the 1880s commemorate those who enslaved people.

Why it matters: Part of the nationwide racial reckoning has been centered on how we tell our history as a nation, and who we choose to honor. Nearly 100 Confederate monuments were removed in 2020, a study from the Southern Poverty Law Center found.

What’s next: Other streets that will be renamed include Stonewall Street, West Hill Street, Jackson Avenue, Phifer Avenue, Aycock Lane, Barringer Drive, Morrison Boulevard and Zebulon Avenue.


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