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Pearl River Ave to be renamed ‘Black Lives Matter’ in McComb

Published: Jul. 5, 2020 at 11:09 PM CDT
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MCCOMB, Miss. (WLBT) -The City of McComb will rename one of the main streets on the east side of town, Black Lives Matter.

The announcement comes during a wave of change across the nation as people protest for equality and justice for the Black community, following the death of George Floyd.

Devante Johnson is the Selectman on the east side of town where Pearl River Ave is being renamed Black Lives Matter.

He says the idea to rename the street was birthed from a recent peaceful protest and march in the area.

The request came from Pastor Hilton Harold. He announced the start of his Black Lives Matter movement in McComb that would involve quarterly workshops on what’s happening across the country.

Johnson said,“As the elected representative, I thought about what would be a street that we could name that would have a significance in this movement and Pearl River Avenue came to mind. As you can see this is a heavily populated street, both black and white.”

The city’s mayor said Johnson came back to the board and made a recommendation and in a 4 to 2 vote the city agreed on the name change.

While the specific details are still being worked out, all that is in the process of being finished. However, some residents and business owners are not in favor of the change and want to see the street stay the same. Others say it’s a step in the right direction.

“I think it is a great thing for this town. It is time we recognize that their lives do matter. White people like myself have to realize the suffering that goes on in the black community. We have stand up and stand together. We walked this street not too long ago in peaceful protest,” said resident Jamie Stewart.

“I think it’s a necessary step for people to see that Black Lives Matter in their daily routine because systematically we’ve been oppressed and it’s hard for our children to take pride when they have nothing that represents them or images and things that makes society move.”

Selectman Johnson says he’s happy to be a part of history in the state of Mississippi and he hopes this will send a message of unity in the city.

“Absolutely, this is the first and I am proud of that to be the first city to change the street name. I believe Moss Point painted three murals outside of their City Hall and they are in the process of changing a street name and this is being led by young people.”

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