Indiana University renames street for prominent Black family


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana University officials are renaming a street through the Bloomington campus after a Black family that rose to prominence after escaping slavery instead of a 19th century president of the school who supported eugenics.

The IU Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve changing the name of Jordan Avenue to Eagleson Avenue, matching a change that city officials are making for its section of the street.

Both university and city officials cite generations of the Eagleson family for making significant contributions to the city, university, state and nation, starting with Halson Vashon Eagleson Sr., who was born into slavery in 1851 and came to Bloomington in the 1880s.

This is not the first time university officials have been called to question the names that label some campus buildings and streets. The university announced at the end of 2020 the removal of Jordan’s name from the biology building, and a new name was proposed in August to replace the eugenics supporter with noted Black faculty member James Holland.

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