Dear Editor:

South Dixie Highway was dedicated 50 years after the Civil War in 1915. This was a time when Women of the Confederacy (a.k.a “Dixie”) made it their mission to name as many streets and public buildings to honor Confederate Generals, and their beloved Dixie, as they could.

They tried to mask the brutality and savagery of slavery and the oppression of African-Americans as something honorable, just, and cultured.

This year, we mark the 400th anniversary of Africans being brought to America to be sold as slaves. This is a shameful part of our history. It was followed by the passing of Jim Crow laws in the late 19th century, and the formation of the white supremacist hate group, known as the Ku Klux Klan.

One of Miami-Dade’s main corridors should not honor this terrible legacy. We now have an opportunity to honor the fight for freedom and justice throughout 400 years of Black Americans’ struggle for equality and respect; and to live up to the ideals written by our Founding Fathers, which states, “All Men are created equal.”

In my opinion, the best historical figure to represent this monumental fight is none other than Harriet Tubman. Tubman, a former slave who escaped to freedom, went on to found the Underground Railroad. Risking her life 13 times after escaping to freedom, she led a total of 70 enslaved people, including friends and family, to freedom in the North. She was an abolitionist, political activist, and she advocated for the right to vote for all men and women. Additionally, she served as a spy on the Union side, and fought for the United States in the Civil War. Her legacy was such that President Barack Obama chose her to be the face on our $20 bill. Sincerely,

—Isabella Banos

Saint Brendan High School

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