Rochester City Council votes to rename Charles Carroll Park over slavery ties

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester City Council Tuesday night voted to rename the Charles Carroll Park along the Genesee River Downtown. The urgency to rename some of Rochester’s parks is because they’re named after slaveholders.

In a vote of 8-1, Rochester City Council is moving forward in renaming Charles Carroll Park on Andrews Street. Charles Carroll was one of Rochester’s founding fathers and had ties to slavery. Action For A Better Community (ABC) a local activist group thinks this is a step for education and pride for the community.

"When you know better, you do better, and for all these years when these public places were named, the history was not known by many people,” said ABC President and CEO Jerome Underwood.

It’s no secret the streets of Rochester hold significant memories and rich past times. Some say it’s time that history and truth need to collaborate.

"There are lots of people who have contributed a lot to Rochester’s history, people who were not slaveholders, like Howard Coles or a James McCuller, who was the first long-standing director of Action For a Better Community, again, it would be a source of pride for so many people,” Underwood added.

Initially, the resolution written up by the City Council earlier this month was to rename Nathaniel Square on Alexander Street as well. The City Council is urging the city to continue historic surveys to consider renaming all public spaces in the city named after slaveholders.