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Austin Group Wants To Rename Streets, Landmarks Tied to the Confederacy, Slave Owners


The Austin Equity Office sent a memo Thursday to Austin City Council suggesting which streets and popular public areas should be renamed after persons of color rather than controversial figures.

The AEO wants to change the names of roughly a dozen local sites the names of which are linked to the Confederacy, the Civil War and slavery. Among the requested changes is the popular Barton Springs Pool, named after a slave owner named William Barton who settled on Comanche land. He was considered a "Daniel Boone of Texas."

Despite Barton Springs being one of the more public areas they hope to rename, the AEO has more of an issue with seven specific roads that may be lesser-known.
  • Confederate Avenue // pays tribute to the Confederate States of America
  • Dixie Drive // named after the unofficial anthem of the Confederate States of America
  • Littlefield Street // named after a Confederate Army major
  • Plantation Road // acknowledges how owners kept slaves who worked on and maintained the property
  • Reagan Hill Drive // rumored to be named after John H. Reagan, postmaster general for the Confederate States of America
  • Sneed Cove // named after a Confederate provost marshal who owned nearly two dozen slaves
  • Tom Green Street // named after a General in the Civil War
The memo also notes some "medium priority" sites, including Barton Springs Pool. Others include Lamar Boulevard (named after Mirabeau Lamar, who served as president of the Republic of Texas), Waller Creek, Pease Park and Burnet Road.

The call for change comes after Austin City Council asked the AEO last October to examine the city's streets, parks and landmarks to see which one had ties to America's controversial history.

Since then, the city has renamed its Robert E. Lee Road to Azie Morton Road. Rather than come up with a snarky change like San Antonio's new L.E.E. High School, the city decided to pay tribute to Morton, the country's first (and so far only) African-American treasury secretary. Jeff David Road was also renamed after Will Holland, an African-American Medal of Honor recipient.

After resolving the high priority roads, the AEO suggests that City Council address both the racial and gender disparities among public roads.
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