In an era where confederate monuments are being torn down, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss wants to continue the trend. Moss is pushing to change the name of Dixie Highway to Harriet Tubman Highway, the Miami Herald reported.
Moss is the longest-seated official on Miami-Dade’s commission, and he will be leaving office in late 2020 because of term limits. He told the Herald he would work to build a movement to accomplish the renaming.
“She is the antithesis of Dixie,” Moss said of the Underground Railroad’s most famous conductor. “Dixie is something that’s symbolic of our inhumane institution of slavery. The complete opposite would to be rename these stretches [of highway] after Harriet Tubman.”
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Moss also said the name of the street “is associated with the Confederacy, slavery, KKK, and those kinds of negative movements that have been a part of our past,” according to the Miami New Times.
While some don’t know of the word Dixie’s racist history, it was used often in connection with heralding the confederacy in songs, blackface performances and marking the boundary between slave states and free states.
Also known as U.S. 1, Dixie Highway runs through much of the South Florida region and into other cities like Chicago. Some cities have already taken action, including Riviera Beach who renamed their stretch of Dixie Highway after former President Barack Obama.
While other commissioners like Barbara Jordan, Daniella Levine Cava and Rebeca Sosa expressed their support for the measure, the debate rages on in the court of public opinion.