The Miami-Dade County Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday (February 19) to rename U.S.1. Harriet Tubman Highway in Miami-Dade County.
U.S.1., also known as Dixie Highway, has long been a cause for controversy due to its reminder of Florida’s history as a member of the Confederacy. The road cuts diagonally through the center of Coral Gables.
The Miami-Dade County Commission, led by Commissioner Dennis Moss, took the first step today at erasing the Dixie Highway name in Miami-Dade County and renaming it after Harriet Tubman, who’s Underground Railroad, led over 70 slaves to freedom.
“Naming this key arterial road after Harriet Tubman makes a lot of sense. She is someone so respected that school children know her as well as George Washington and Paul Revere. Beyond her heroics as an abolitionist, she was a one-person hospital administrator, nurse and caretaker for Civil War soldiers. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of having an important highway named after her…” said Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who represents Coral Gables’ U.S.1. corridor in the County Commission.
“I am proud to join all of my colleagues in unanimous support of Commissioner Dennis Moss’s proposal,” said Vice Chairwoman Sosa. “We have a responsibility to teach future generations about the pain and suffering of those in our community and leave a positive example for all,” said Commissioner Rebeca Sosa who represents the northern portion of Coral Gables on the County Commission.
“Great to see the Miami-Dade Commission’s unanimous support for Commissioner Dennis Moss’ proposal to rename Dixie Hwy in Miami-Dade County after Harriet Tubman. We thus honor our nation’s history by remembering those who fought oppression instead of those who wielded it.” said former Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas.
The measure will only apply to stretches of U.S.1. that are Miami-Dade County roads, as other parts of the highway in Miami-Dade County are State roads.
The resolution also provided for the County to lobby the State Legislature to also apply the name change to State roads.
The move is not unprecedented, as the City of Riviera Beach has also renamed its stretch of U.S.1. President Barack Obama Highway.