Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images(MIAMI) — The highways flowing through Miami are swapping their Confederate identity with one that recognizes the iconic leader of the Underground Railroad.
Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to change the name of parts of the Old Dixie Highway to the Harriet Tubman Highway. The change was made to honor the abolitionist who led countless numbers of slaves to freedom.
The renaming took “a staunch, proactive stance on the necessary eradication of the lingering markers within Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida which continue to celebrate a painful history of systemic racism,” the resolution said.
The renaming affects portions of the Old Dixie Highway and West Dixie Highway that are under the city jurisdiction, including the section between Southwest 304th Street and Southwest 146th Street, and the section between Northeast 163rd Street and Northeast 215th Street.
The commissioners also sent a resolution to the Florida Legislature to rename the portions of the West Dixie Highway that are under its jurisdiction.
The commissioners noted that the term “Dixie” has racist roots that trace back to blackface minstrelsy, and was the name of the Confederacy’s unofficial anthem.
“It is only fitting that Dixie’s current nomenclature be replaced by the matchless legacy of a warrior whose heroic and selfless fight for freedom and justice has served the best interests of Miami-Dade County, the state of Florida, and the nation,” the resolution said.
Several Harriet Tubman memorials have been created around the country, including one in her home state of Maryland and a museum that’s slated to open this year in Cape May, New Jersey.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced it would put Tubman’s face on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson, but those plans were delayed by the Trump administration.
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