Florida county officials unanimously vote to rename 'Dixie' highways after Harriet Tubman

Florida county officials unanimously vote to rename 'Dixie' highways after Harriet Tubman
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Commissioners of Miami-Dade County, Fla., have voted to greenlight a resolution seeking to rename “Dixie” highways in the area after legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman. 

According to The Miami Herald, the county’s commissioners voted to approve the measure unanimously on Wednesday.

The resolution calls for portions of the Old Dixie Highway and West Dixie Highway that run through the region to be renamed the Harriet Tubman Highway. 

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“Under its present moniker, Dixie represents a troubling time in our nation’s past, marred by the inhumane celebration and unconscionable profit of the perils of racism, segregation and the atrocities of slavery,” the resolution states. 

It adds that it is “unquestionable” that the toxic history behind the name “runs deeply through the veins of this country, as its racist roots date back the 19th century and the deplorable comedic movement of blackface minstrelsy and would become the rallying cry and unofficial anthem of the Confederacy during the Civil War.”

Though the legislation notes that the board of county commissioners has the authority to rename portions of Old Dixie Highway and West Dixie Highway encompassing roadways in the area, it also says that the Florida legislature would need to intervene to rename portions of “Dixie” highways that are state roads.

Ahead of the vote on Wednesday, County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, who was listed as a prime co-sponsor on the resolution, said "it’s never too late to do the right thing,” according to the Herald.

Commissioner Joe Martinez, who is also listed as a prime co-sponsor on the resolution, told the paper that he has received negative feedback from some who are upset over the move and call it an inconvenience, the paper also reported.

But Martinez says the change is worth it, telling the publication: “If it is offensive to a section of our community, then it should be offensive to all of us.”