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Texas Lawmakers Petition To Rename Houston Street Named After Confederate Leader

Texas lawmakers are pushing to rename a major street in Houston’s Third Ward named after a former Confederate leader.

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portrait photo of Garnet Coleman
Garnet Coleman

State Representative Garnet Coleman, a democrat from Houston, is starting a petition to rename Dowling Street as Emancipation Avenue.

It was originally East Broadway Street, but in 1892, the Houston City Council voted to rename it after Confederate Major Richard "Dick" Dowling.

Coleman says the symbol is an insult to the black community.

"We thought that it was most appropriate to remove Dick Dowling's name from the street as a sign of acceptance," he says.

To move forward, the petition needs the support of 75 percent of property owners on the street.

Coleman argues another reason to support the change is Emancipation Park, which is located on Dowling. It was purchased in 1872 by African-American residents. In 2009, the State of Texas awarded the facility a historic designation, and it's currently undergoing a $33 million renovation.

"Having the street name again the same as the park is very appropriate," Coleman says. "This is going to be a signature park for the city of Houston."

Coleman will join other lawmakers and community organizers this weekend to try to gain support for the petition. The event takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Eldorado Building on 2310 Elgin Street.

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