A Florida town drove Old Dixie down by changing the name of a historic highway to President Barack Obama Highway.
A strip of the Old Dixie Highway in a predominantly black neighborhood in Riviera Beach, Fla., will now be named after the 44th President after city officials decided the highway’s name had racist connotations.
“The local residents particularly in that section in the inner city where the actual street exists is the heart of the African American community. People were overwhelmed they were actually blowing horns and taking pictures and video,” Mayor Thomas Masters told the Daily News.
The strip of highway named after Obama will intersect with a road named after Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the first time streets named after the two black leaders will meet, according to the Sun Sentinel.
“Old Dixie means exactly that: it means old ways, like slavery, the KKK and cross burning,” said Masters.
The Riviera Beach City Council voted in August to change the name of the historic highway inside their city limits and faced some criticism, the mayor said.
“There were a few people who were not happy and had some problems with it and some people felt that the Old Dixie Highway should stay how it was,” he said.
But other residents welcomed the change.
“The name Old Dixie does not align in any way with the goal of racial and social equality,” Kendra Williams, a Riviera Beach resident, said during a meeting about the street renaming, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The street renaming comes after cities across the South have reconsidered the racist implications of some of their symbols.
The city of Charleston, S.C., took down the confederate flag at city buildings after Dylann Roof gunned down nine black church members at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Via: NY Daily NewsClick here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 IAR Magazine