Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously approved renaming the county’s “Dixie” highways after Harriet Tubman, replacing a name branded as celebrating a racist legacy with the name of a legendary liberator of Americans subjected to slavery.
The resolution by Commissioner Dennis Moss officially creates Harriet Tubman Highway out of stretches of road currently named Old Dixie Highway in South Dade and West Dixie Highway in Northeast Dade.
“Harriet Tubman is the antithesis of what Dixie, Jim Crow and in human institution of slavery stood for,” said Moss.
The vote follows complaints from numerous Black southern Floridians who believe the name represents racism and slavery.
It’s not known how long it will take county road crews to make the name-change official by switching out the Dixie Highway signs with new signs bearing Harriet Tubman’s name.
Tubman is history’s most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and hideaways used to ferry enslaved Americans away from slave-holding states and to freedom. Many routes went north to Canada, but the coast of present-day Miami-Dade was also an embarkation point to freedom in the Bahamas.