Tennessee legislators are set to vote on a bill that would change portions of Nashville’s “Rep. John Lewis Way” to “President Donald Trump Boulevard.”
Rep. John Lewis Way sits on what was formerly 5th Avenue. The road was named after Rep. John Lewis during a ceremony in 2021. Lewis was known for his work during the Civil Rights Movement, including orchestrating lunch counter sit-ins.
The bill, HB 1372, was filed by Rep. Paul Sherrell of Sparta and State Sen. Frank Niceley. The Senate version of the bill happened to be introduced on the first day of Black History Month.
The announcement of the bill was met with backlash from some Democratic Tennessee representatives online.
“OMG. I have to take a deep breath so as not to swear! What have this state become!” Councilwoman Zulfat Suara tweeted. “Do some just wake up and propose the next thing that comes to mind. This is not how to govern. This is ridiculous. We are going to fight this.”
WATCH: “John Lewis’ family just called your bill to rename his street after Trump a ‘SLAP IN THE FACE’ — any response?” @SenFrankNiceley doesn’t seem to care, instead used his hat to cover our camera. His bill would hijack part of Rep. John Lewis Way and make it “Trump Blvd” pic.twitter.com/uue63fmdG5
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 6, 2023
“Tennessee Republicans’ bill to change parts of John Lewis Way to Donald Trump Blvd is about more than a street name,” Representative Justin Jones tweeted. “It’s yet another white supremacist attack on Black history. It’s spitting on the grave of our ancestor. It’s memorializing hate. Best believe, we’ll fight back.”