Friday, April 27, 2018

Concerns Arise That "Jersey Street" Is Named For Slave-Trading British Island

In the wake of the official name change from "Yawkey Way" to the original "Jersey Street", some are raising a new controversy. According to multiple reports—including one by National Public Radio (NPR)—Jersey Street was named in honor of the British "Isle of Jersey"—one of the "Channel Islands". In the distant past, Jersey's aristocrats enriched themselves by buying and selling slaves. One of these aristocrats—Sir George Carteret—helped found the 'Company of Royal Adventurers into Africa', which carried on a vigorous slave trade between Africa and the West Indies. Eventually, because of Carteret's loyalty to King Charles II, he was granted land in the American colonies that later became New Jersey. Eventually, 12,000 slaves resided in New Jersey—among the largest such populations in the northern colonies. So, now what? Our suggestion is to simply re-name the re-naming—changing it to either "Freedom Way" or "David Ortiz Way".