Charlotte could rename uptown street after legendary Panther Sam Mills

CHARLOTTE — The city of Charlotte is considering renaming East Stonewall Street in uptown Charlotte from a dozen final selections.

One of the names being considered is Sam Mills Way.

The former Carolina Panther, Sam Mills, was recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Mills, who died from cancer in 2005, became one of the original Panthers in 1995.

East Stonewall Street is named after Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

The other replacement names are:

  • Aviation Avenue
  • Brooklyn Village Street
  • Convention Center Drive
  • Daniel Sanders Street
  • Diversity Drive
  • Equality Boulevard
  • Howard Moreland Street
  • JT Williams Avenue
  • Liberation Boulevard
  • Reginald Hawkins Street
  • Welcome Way

The Legacy Commission presented a list of 10 street names to Charlotte city councilors in 2020 that honored slavery, slave owners, Confederate veterans, supporters of white supremacy or romanticize notions of the antebellum south.

When naming streets in the future, the commission recommends the city consider the following criteria when naming a street after a person:

  • Give priority to those who have had a significant connection to Charlotte and contributed to the city’s progress.
  • Honor individuals who represent the diversity of the city’s history.
  • Honor individuals whose contributions have been overlooked in the past (African Americans, Native Americans, Latinx, Asians, women.)

The commission said to ensure the benefit of historical judgment, no street should be named for a living person and not until the person has been dead for at least five years.

The commission provided the following reason why Stonewall Street should be renamed.

Military historians regard Thomas Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson as the Confederate’s most gifted tactical commander. His military exploits became legendary and were an essential element of the ideology of the ‘Lost Cause.’ There are multiple streets named in honor of Stonewall Jackson. The most prominent is East Stonewall Street, which is in uptown Charlotte. There is also a Stonewall Jackson Homes Drive located at 5751 Airport Drive off West Boulevard. According to a 1947 Charlotte News article, Jackson Avenue, which is located off East 10th Street directly across from Piedmont Open IB Middle School, is also named in honor of Stonewall Jackson.”

Learn more about the city’s efforts through The Legacy Commission.

(Watch the video below: KEEP POUNDING: Panthers legend Sam Mills elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame)

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