- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 19, 2021

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, announced it will rename Jefferson Davis Street to Druid Hills Way in the first of a series of such changes set for various roads currently honoring infamous racists.

Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War, will no longer be the namesake of the street in Druid Hills, a largely Black neighborhood in Charlottesville, the city announced Wednesday.

Eight other streets in Charlotte are set to be renamed in the coming months as well, including several currently bearing the names of other Confederate leaders, slaveholders and known white supremacists.

The Charlotte City Council voted in February to move ahead with renaming the roads, and residents, property owners and other community members were subsequently asked to recommend potential replacements.

Seventeen different names proposed to replace Jefferson Davis Street met criteria established by the Legacy Commission, a group Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles established last year to review making such changes.

Community members were then polled on the 17 proposed names, and 55% chose Druid Hills Way, the city said in a news release. The second-most popular selection received only 9% of the vote, comparatively.

“The residents in this neighborhood are continuing the journey the Legacy Commission started over a year ago in reshaping the city’s landscape, representative of the dynamic and diverse city Charlotte has become,” Ms. Lyle, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The new Druid Hills Way signs will be publicly unveiled on Sept. 25, the city of Charlotte announced in the news release. The street is bisected by a single cross-street and is dead-ended on both sides.

Phifer Avenue, a road in Charlotte named for William Phifer, a slave owner who hosted Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, will also be changed to Montford Point Street, the city said in a statement.

Other thoroughfares set to be renamed include road currently honoring Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and former North Carolina governor and White supremacist Zebulon Baird Vance, among others.

Numerous cities and states in the former Confederacy have taken steps in recent years to get rid of monuments honoring secessionists who fought to preserve the forced enslavement of Black people.

Last month, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia created a task force to weigh potentially renaming local roads named for Jackson and another Confederate general, Robert E. Lee.

Statues of both Jackson and Lee were removed days earlier from city parks in Charlottesville, Virginia, meanwhile.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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