BY: IRISH HAINES
In South Philadelphia lies Taney Street, named after Justice Roger B. Taney, who in 1857 contributed to the outcome of the Dred Scott Decision.
The Dred Scott Decision declared African-Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States.
George Basile, a political science major at Temple University, has started a campaign in hopes of taking this honor away.
“I think that Philadelphia needs to take the lead when it comes to properly remembering historical figures and taking away reverence from racists like Justice Taney,” Basille said. “We can set the national precedent and be the example that the rest of the country needs, in my opinion, for taking a critical lens to history.”
In his letter to be sent to Mayor Kenney, Chief of Staff Jane Slusser, and the City Council of Philadelphia, he also suggests Mo’ne Davis as the possible recipient of street name replacement.
Mo’ne Davis was one of 2 girls to play in the 2014 Little League World Series. Playing for the Taney Dragons, she became the first girl to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series.
Basile has slowly gained support through his online campaign for the renaming.
Philadelphia native and Temple student, Melissa Turner, is in full support of renaming the street. She emphasizes that she believes that Taney does not deserve the honor or acknowledgment.
“We’re not erasing that part of history but we’re also not going to acknowledge him as a good person worthy of a street name either,” Turner said. “We’re going to give the street name to someone more deserving because they did some cool stuff. It’s not erasing history, it’s just making it look better, or making Philly look better.”
Mayor Kenney commented that he supports the renaming. However, the change would need to be proposed and passed by City Council.