Apr 18, 2022 - News

The effort to rename Dallas' Akard Street

A man with a pink Lil Nas X Blvd sign
An unofficial Lil Nas X Blvd sign beneath an official Akard St sign by City Hall. Photo courtesy of Edward H. Sebesta

Edward Sebesta, a Dallas author and researcher, is campaigning for the city to change the name of Akard Street, which runs next to City Hall.

Sebesta, who has written several books about both the Confederacy and modern white supremacists, tells Axios he wants Akard Street to be re-named after rapper Lil Nas X.

  • "It will be a first for an African American gay person to have a street in Dallas," Sebesta says. "It will be a strong message for Dallas City Hall."

Why it matters: WCC Akard, for whom the street is named, came to Texas from Missouri during the Civil War in an effort to keep enslaved children from being emancipated.

  • Akard’s father-in-law, Ahab Bowen, also enslaved five people. Another street in Dallas is named after him.

Flashback: In 2020, after some debate, the city took down the Confederate monument in Pioneer Park, adjacent to Akard Street. Last year, DISD changed the names of three schools with names tied to the Confederacy.

Yes, but: Several places in Dallas are still named for prominent Confederates, including Kidd Springs Park, which is named after James W. Kidd, a colonel in the Confederate army, and Lemmon Avenue, named for William H. Lemmon, a Confederate captain.

Go deeper: Read Sebesta's research about Akard and Bowen.

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