Part of North Ave. could be named after Harriet Tubman

Rep. Ford's resolution for the designation was filed in the House on April 20

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Michael Romain


Another street in Austin could be named after an African American historical figure. State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th) filed a resolution in the House on April 20 that would designate a section of North Avenue in Austin — from Central Avenue to Cicero Avenue — as the "Harriet Tubman Memorial Avenue." 

The resolution is currently in the rules committee, but during a recent phone interview Ford said that he was confident that the measure would pass by the end of May, when the General Assembly's spring session ends. Street markings could be going up sometime this summer, he added. 

Harriet Tubman Memorial Avenue would be the third major street dedication in honor of a significant African American that has come about as a result of a House resolution introduced by Ford. 

The lawmaker, an Austin resident, said that his latest resolution is part of a larger goal he has of transforming the built environment on the West Side into a living history lesson. 

"We already know that our schools aren't teaching black history and its important that we show our communities that everywhere we turn there should be meaning," Ford said. "So when people see Harriet Tubman Memorial Avenue, they will have conversations. She was a very powerful woman and she deserves recognition." 

In 2016, Ford filed a resolution designating a part of Roosevelt Road — from Cicero Avenue to Austin Avenue — as Muhammad Ali Road. That nonbonding resolution passed the House in 2017. 

And in 2014, Ford's resolution designating a part of Cicero Avenue — from Roosevelt Road to West Grand Avenue — as Mandela Road in honor of former South African president and anti-Apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. 

Ford said that the resolution honoring Tubman would need to pass both the House and the Senate before the Illinois Department of Transportation gets to work on installing the memorial markers. 

The significance of Tubman's gender, particularly in light of current events related to #MeToo, was not lost on the state representative. 

"Another thing we have to make sure of is that young black and white girls recognize there are powerful women who inspire them," Ford said. 'The spirit of Harriet Tubman is great. It's all about freedom and recognizing there are no limits to your life."


Love the News?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Austin Weekly News and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad