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Petition launched to rename North, South Confederate Ave. in Tyler

"We need to change this street, remove this racism statement out of our communities," the petition reads.
Credit: Change.org

TYLER, Texas — A Change.org petition has been launched to change street names in West and North Tyler.

According to the petition, residents are calling to rename North Confederate Ave. and South Confederate Ave.

"We need to change this street, remove this racist statement from our communities," the petition reads.

North Confederate Ave. runs from West Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to West Erwin St., while South Confederate Ave. runs from West Front St. to Lindsey Ln.  Both roadways run through predominantly Black neighborhoods. 

"It is beyond shameful that this street name still exists in the year 2020," one person who signed the petition wrote. "The Civil War ended in 1865. Put the Confederacy in the past where it belongs once and for all."

According to the Texas State Historical Association, in 1860, more than 35% of Tyler's total population of 1,021 were slaves. 

On Friday, June 19, local activists held a memorial on the square in downtown Tyler to honor the known 92 Black victims of lynching in the area.

The petition, which was created in late June, is requesting 500 signatures. As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 260 people had signed the online document.