- What is the status of the Rename Taney campaign?
- Our signatories list has grown to over 2,700, and the press and Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson have taken notice.
- Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and Councilmember Darrell Clarke both have publicly supported the community’s goal to rename Taney Street.
- Planning team met with Councilmember Johnson’s staff four times.
- Gained the endorsement of Center City Residents Association (CCRA) and South of South Neighborhood Association (SoSNA)
- What does the community engagement process consist of?
- The purpose of the community engagement process is to understand & gather community sentiment around the street, assess support for the street name change, and explore thoughts on principles to feed into the renaming process.
- Invitations will be sent to suggest a new name for the street.
- Opportunity to participate in a virtual town hall
- Community organizations will participate as stakeholders
- View and vote on proposed names
- What can I do with my anti-racist energy that is tangible and constructive?
Please sign the community’s petition at www.RenameTaney.com, call your city councilmember, call the Mayor’s Office, promote this cause on social media, and together we can achieve this anti-racist, sincere, and achievable goal of renaming Taney Street.
- Where is Taney Street?
Taney Street runs north-to-south through the entire city between 26th and 27th streets. It passes through the many neighborhoods that represent the true diversity of our city.
- Who was Roger Taney?
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was a slave-owning Marylander who was the principal author of the Dred Scott v. Sandford U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1857, which held that African-Americans had no standing in court, regardless of whether they were free, because they were not and could not be U.S. citizens.
- What was the opinion of Taney at the time?
Even at the time, Taney’s perspective on African-Americans was roundly condemned. Frederick Douglass called the decision an “open, glaring, and scandalous tissue of lies.” He continued, “All that is merciful and just on Earth and in Heaven, will execrate and despise this edict of Taney.”
- Why change the name now?
A portion of Minor Street in Fairmount was renamed in Taney’s honor in 1858, just one year after the court decision, considered by many to be the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court. The street name was extended around 1900 when the street grid was further systematized. Thus, for 162 years, the city of Philadelphia has honored Taney with a street name as an enduring legacy of prejudice and social exclusion. This is a choice by Philadelphia City Council and the Mayor’s Administration to allow a street to continue to be named in honor of a White Supremacist.
- What good will changing the name street do?
We recognize that there is a large amount of substantive policy work ahead of governments at all levels to address and correct the systemic racism that has existed in our nation for the past 400 years. Yet symbolic actions like statue removals show that our city has the great potential to evolve into one where everyone feels they are not only welcome but valued. If Baltimore and Annapolis can take down their Taney statues, and Richmond can take down their enormous statue of Robert E. Lee, then it’s time for Philadelphia to take down ALL monuments to white supremacy too!