Confederate Street in Austin to be renamed after Black educator

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West Austin street is getting a new name

Confederate Street in West Austin is getting a new name. After outcry from some residents, council approved a measure to start the process.

Cheyenne Weaver grew up in Austin. After living in the north part of town for a while, she moved right back into the area close to downtown. However, she feels a street near her home, Confederate Street, is not reflective of the community's values in 2022.

"I was aghast that that was something that still existed. I don't want to be a part of a community that wants to honor the confederacy," she said.

Weaver started a petition that garnered a lot of support from her neighbors. It even caught the eye of Austin City Council member Kathie Tovo.

"We've heard lots of support for this renaming, including from one resident who lives on the street and is eager to have a name that's more reflective of both the Black community that lived and founded and thrived in Clarksville as well as more reflective of the diversity of our city," said Tovo.

Council approved a resolution Thursday to initiate the renaming process. The name to replace Confederate will be Maggie Mayes, an African-American educator living in the freedman community of Clarksville, located in modern day West Austin.

"She was somebody who lived in Clarksville, she was a leader citywide but worked in Clarksville. She started the first school in Clarksville," said Tovo.

"They haven't given up and accepted they lost the Civil War. They are still fighting the civil war here, and it's time we put that behind," said Sabino Renteria, Austin City Council, District Three.

Weaver believes learning our history is important, but context as well. She believes the confederacy should be remembered, but not honored.

"Words really matter. Words have a power to them, to convey values and to convey who we are as a community," she said.

The city council will finalize the measure at an upcoming council meeting, before making the change officially.

Austin City Council votes to rename Confederate Avenue to honor Maggie Mayes

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