The Memphis City Council is going to consider renaming a stretch of Poplar Avenue directly in front of the jail to “Black Lives Matter Avenue.” Click here to follow KWAM The Mighty 990 on Facebook.The resolution, sponsored by Michalyn Easter-Thomas, Cheyenne Johnson, Rhonda Logan, Patrice Robinson, Jamita Swearengen, Martavius Jones and J.B. Smiley, Jr., will be considered during Tuesday’s council meeting.
The resolution also calls for an official and not honorary renaming.
Council members said the only way to recognize “the worth of Black lives within a society that has historically devalued Black life” is to rename Poplar Avenue.For the record, Poplar Avenue is named after a tree, not a Confederate war general or slave holder.
“Let us find unity in establishing a new street name, one that serves as an eternal reminder of the need to ensure equity for all, both present and future, on a section of public street within proximity to our area’s voting commission, jury commission, criminal justice center, and jail, no less, each institutions where the clarion call, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ should ring loud and clear,” the verbose resolution read.
“That particular stretch of Poplar from front to Danny Thomas holds institutions where Black people have been penalized, which Black people have been terrorized, not just in this city but nationwide,” Councilwoman Easter-Thomas told WREG. “This will be the nice green signs. They will be permanent. They will be a fixture for generations to come so that it’s a reminder of what we are here in the Bluff City.”Several weeks ago vandals targeted a number of street signs — pasting “Black Lives Matter Avenue” over existing signs.
“While we appreciate the sentiment behind the name change of the signs, it was not the proper method to do so,” reads a statement from the city’s director of communications.
Heading into Malia Obama Weekend, Jackson Ave has a new name. Another confederate general, Stonewall Jackson, now has Black Lives Matter hanging over his name. Y’all take a drive down #BlackLivesMatter Matter Avenue this weekend! pic.twitter.com/w5a8ucBD11
— Tami Sawyer (@tamisawyer) July 3, 2020