After a volatile week in Charlottesville, Virginia, one Temple student is asking City Hall to rename a street that is currently named after a Supreme Court Justice who ruled in favor of slavery in 1857.
George Basile, a Temple senior who has previously served in Temple Student Government, recently created a petition to rename Taney Street, a road in Philadelphia named for Justice Rodger Taney, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who wrote the Dred Scott Decision. The case brought to the court by Dred Scott for his freedom, was denied, and Taney read the majority opinion against Scott’s case.
Basile said he came up with the idea to petition city hall for a name change after walking by the street and researching Taney and his views. In his letter to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and other city officials, he suggests renaming the street for Mo’Ne Davis.
“Davis played on the Taney Street Little League team and led them on a historic run to Williamsport, PA where she and the Taney Dragons made history,” wrote Basile.
Mayor Kenney emailed Basile his support Friday, saying that he supports the name change but that there is more work to be done; the next step is drafting a resolution to council member Kenyatta Johnson and council president Darrell Clarke, representatives of the 2nd and 5th districts respectively. Taney Street runs through both of their districts.
Basile told Temple Update Friday that the Temple community has been “overwhelmingly receptive” to his petition, but has also received some negative comments as well. Despite some backlash, Basile plans to move forward and continue to advocate for the name change.
At of the time of publication, Basile’s petition had garnered 170 signatures.