Memphis lawmakers want part of Poplar Avenue to be renamed ‘Black Lives Matter’

Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Memphis leaders want part of Poplar Avenue to be renamed “Black Lives Matter Avenue.”

A new resolution states the street would serve as an eternal reminder of the need to ensure equity for all.

Councilwoman Michalyn Easter-Thomas is sponsoring the resolution and says this is a way for Memphis to bridge the gap between a painful past and a promising future.

“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,” Easter-Thomas said.

The resolution also calls for an official and not honorary renaming.

“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,” Easter-Thomas said.

“Memphis is one of the few places that doesn’t recognize the majority of the folks here are Black,” said Faith Morris with the National Civil Rights Museum. “And when you have a 63% of black people here, somehow it needs to feel it.”

They believe the new street signs would create a visible reminder to everyone what Memphis stands for.

“I think that the reinforcement of children seeing Black Lives Matter is reinforcement that says to that young little boy or girl that, hey, I matter too,” said councilman Martavius Jones.

The resolution goes before council Tuesday. If it passes, it then heads to the land use control board for further consideration.

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