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Newly named Emancipation Avenue unveiled in Third Ward

HOUSTON – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday for the renaming of Dowling Street to Emancipation Avenue.

In an unanimous vote in January, the Houston City Council approved changing the name.

The street is located in the heart of Houston's historic Third Ward.

Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman started the push for the name change more than a year ago.

"I think it's time, it's been beyond time. We didn't name it (the street) for a person,we named it for the feeling of having change broken,"said Coleman.

Dowling Street was originally named East Broadway but was renamed Dowling Street to honor Lt. Dick Dowling, a prominent military leader of the Confederacy. 

VIDEO: Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for newly named Emancipation Avenue 

The renaming of Dowling Street to Emancipation Avenue coincides with Juneteenth celebrations and the reopening of the renovated Emancipation Park.

Community members said that we cannot forget the history but we must work toward the future to bring the diverse community together.

"I think this park is a stepping stone in bringing (the) community together. No community is strong without a strong park and I look forward to bridging that gap," City Councilman Dwight Boykins said. 

Karen Bennett has lived in Third Ward for more than 50 years. She brought her grandson Deair to the park. She said the gym, the basketball courts and the new name and park are exactly what the community needed.

"We needed this because it was dangerous back then. Hey, God has sent us a blessing," Bennett said.

Several free, public Juneteenth celebrations were scheduled at Emancipation Park over the weekend and Monday.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was at 3018 Emancipation Ave. at the Elgin Street intersection.

Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Vice-Chair of Houston Southeast Management District Robert Muhammad, Ph.D. were all in attendance.

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