Fourth Street honorarily named Black History Pathway
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- After a unanimous vote by the Charlottesville City Council, Fourth Street has been honorarily named Black History Pathway, which advocates say will celebrate the city’s Black history.
"If you want to talk about history, Fourth Street is the centerpiece of history, particularly Black history for Charlottesville," said Charles "Alex-Zan" Alexander.
He led the request for the street designation and was able to get 200 signatures from Charlottesville residents. Fourth Street runs from West Main Street to Preston Avenue and is apart of an area known as The Hill, which is filled with Black history.
"Knowing that we have Charlottesvillians around the world, and when they hear Charlottesville has a Black History Pathway, they’ll be able to connect right away," Alexander said.
The area continues to be a historical hub despite the loss of Zion Union Baptist Church, where a Staples store now sits.
"The significance behind Staples is this church. This was Zion Union Baptist Church. I was baptized here at Zion Union," Alexander said.
A former resident who grew up in The Hill says the name change will add value to the community.
"I just think it's perfect because Jefferson School is right there. I grew up in that area and went to school on Fourth Street," said Mary Tata Nightengale.
Another Charlottesville resident says the name change is meaningful.
"I think it's a wonderful decision because this is something being proposed by someone that's strongly connected to and apart of the African-American community. Who’s talked about the naming with elders," said Carolyn Freedman, a Charlottesville resident.
Alexander has strong ties to the area.
"My mother graduated from Jefferson High School, which is on the pathway," he said. "The premise of Black History Pathway is to observe and celebrate the historical contributions of African-Americans for Charlottesville and Albemarle."