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Politics

Charlotte City Council OKs Recommendation To Rename Streets With White Supremacist Ties

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Nick de la Canal/WFAE

The Charlotte City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a recommendation to rename streets that honor Confederate soldiers, segregationists or people who played a prominent role in advancing white supremacy.

Streets that could be renamed include Stonewall Street and West Hill Street uptown and Morrison Boulevard in south Charlotte.

Stonewall is named for Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Daniel Hill was a confederate officer with ties to Charlotte.

Cameron Morrison is a former North Carolina governor in the 1920s who campaigned on a platform of white supremacy.

In 1898, Morrison was involved in a white supremacy campaign in the state, according to David Zucchino, a journalist who chronicled one of the darkest chapters in North Carolina's history in "Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy."

"He (was) one of the orators out on the campaign trail — one of the leading white supremacists of his day," Zucchino told WFAE's Charlotte Talks in 2020. "And in fact his performance during this white supremacy campaign got him elected governor."

The city will now develop a pilot program to create a process for changing street names. It will also install a memorial commemorating the deaths of Joe McNeely and Willie McDaniel, victims of the two documented lynchings in Charlotte.

The commission that recommended changing the street names did have some ideas for new names, such as renaming Stonewall Street for Julius L. Chambers, a local civil rights lawyer who argued the U.S. Supreme Court case Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, which made busing for a racial balance part of school policy.

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