Richmond renames street after tennis trailblazer Arthur Ashe
© Greg Nash

Richmond, Va., on Saturday formally renamed a street formerly known as the Boulevard after tennis legend and Richmond native Arthur Ashe, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Ashe, who died in 1993, was the first black man to win the singles title at the US Open, the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Up to 3,000 people gathered in the city Saturday to commemorate the occasion, including civil rights leader Rep, John LewisJohn LewisKatherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent Democratic lawmaker says officials tried to keep her from migrant girls during facility tour Democratic outrage grows over conditions at border detention centers MORE (D-Ga.) and Ashe’s nephew, David Harris Jr., who led the push to rename the street.


“This is truly a spectacular and momentous day,” Harris said.

“Think about Arthur Ashe, what he did, the contribution he made, coming out of this city, out of this state, out of this country,” Lewis said in his keynote speech.

The renaming comes 23 years after the city erected a statue of Ashe on Monument Avenue, the only statue of an African American on the street. Mayor Levar Stoney (D) called Ashe “the only true champion” on the street, whose other statues are predominantly Confederate officers.

“By naming this boulevard after Arthur Ashe, we’re once again parting with our darker past and embracing our brighter future,” Stoney said, according to the Times-Dispatch.

Previous attempts to rename the street failed in 1993 and 2003, with City Councilwoman Kim Gray, whose district includes part of the street, successfully advancing the name change this year.