The divisively named Confederate Ave. is getting a new moniker in the name of unity. The downtown street will now be fittingly called United Ave. Earlier this week the council voted unanimously in favor of the change.
“I am thrilled and excited to witness this moment with my neighbors who worked tirelessly on this effort,” Councilmember Carla Smith, who sponsored the measure, said in a statement. “The Mayor’s signature on this legislation makes this official and represents who we are and what we are.”
However, not everyone is happy about the change. Echos of arguments surrounding the removal confederate memorials have begun once again, and Internet comment forums, particularly of local news sources reporting on the story, have tuned into battlegrounds. Some argue that honoring the confederacy is harmful to African Americans, while others say to remove such monuments and signs is an attempt to re-write history, and disrespectful of some southerner’s heritages.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was invigorated by the change, though. “Thank you to Councilmember Smith for her leadership and advocacy for this change,” Bottoms said in a statement. “Today’s historic bill signing serves as further proof that there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we work together.”