About The Legacy Commission

In June 2020, Mayor Vi Lyles called together 15 Charlotte historians, journalists and public servants to form the Legacy Commission. Mayor Lyles tasked the commission with compiling a list of street names, monuments and other markers in Charlotte that honor Confederate soldiers, slave owners and segregationists. The mayor also charged the commission with making recommendations on which streets should be renamed, and a process for approving new commemorative monuments and street names.

The commission discovered there are no Confederate monuments in public spaces owned by the City of Charlotte, except for those located in Elmwood Cemetery. The commission agrees that cemeteries are appropriate locations for Confederate monuments and recommends installing markers at these locations to provide historical context.

Dr. Willie Griffin, Legacy Commission consultant and historian with the Levine Museum of the New South, presented a list of several streets in Charlotte(PDF, 279KB) named in honor of slavery, slave owners, Confederate veterans, supporters of white supremacy or romanticized notions of the antebellum South.

The commission recommends prioritizing the renaming of streets that honor Confederate leaders and officers, and figures who actively fought against equality. This would include any vocal advocates of post-Civil War white supremacist groups; political candidates or figures who campaigned on a platform supporting white supremacy; and elected officials who supported and implemented Jim Crow laws.

Legacy Commission Members

Emily Zimmern (Legacy Commission chair), retired Levine Museum of the New South president and CEO.

Donnie Simmons, retired Mecklenburg County employee relations manager.

Frank Coley, retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer.

Levester Flowers, retired Bank of America loan officer.

Debra Smith, University of North Carolina at Charlotte African Studies professor.

Michael Sullivan, The Nichols Company real estate broker and Central Piedmont Community College History professor.

Fannie Flono, Charlotte Observer associate editor.

Alan Kronovet, Wells Fargo commercial executive vice president and head of Mortgage Servicing.

Len Norman, retired Bank of America.

Mary Newsom, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute director of Urban Policy Initiatives.

Tom Hanchett, Levine of the New South staff historian.

Steve Crump, WBTV reporter.

Mildred McCullough, Bank of America vice president.

Kristen Wile, Unpretentious Palate founder and editor.

Beatrice Thompson, retired CBS Radio News and Public Affairs director.

Legacy Commission Consultants

Willie Griffin, Levine Museum of the New South historian.

Karen Cox, UNC Charlotte History professor.