The Harriet Tubman Highway in Florida has been unveiled after many county workers and high school students called for the change of the road’s previous name “Dixie Highway” title.
“South Dixie Highway was dedicated 50 years after the Civil War in 1915. This was a time when Women of the Confederacy (a.k.a “Dixie”) made it their mission to name as many streets and public buildings to honor Confederate Generals, and their beloved Dixie, as they could,” Isabella Banos wrote in a “Letter to the Editor” in 2019. The Saint Brendan High School student highlighted the “shameful part of our history” and urged the county to change the Dixie Highway name, saying that “one of Miami-Dade’s main corridors should not honor this terrible legacy.”
Banos said that “the best historical figure to represent this monumental fight is none other than Harriet Tubman.” She wrote about Tubman’s work as an abolitionist and political activist made her the best candidate for an alternative name. She added, “Additionally, she served as a spy on the Union side, and fought for the United States in the Civil War. Her legacy was such that President Barack Obama chose her to be the face on our $20 bill. Sincerely.” Banos, whose race was not disclosed, felt compelled to write the letter after she asked her grandfather Modesto Abety, during a car ride, why the highway was named “Dixie.”
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