Two street portions near downtown Franklin will be renamed for Black leaders following approval from the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen May 11.

The first—an extension of. 3rd Avenue that runs from North Margin Street to Hillsboro Road through Bicentennial Park—will be renamed for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot and killed in Memphis in 1968. According to the city, about 900 streets across the county are named for King.

The second—an extension of 3rd Avenue on the west side of Hillsboro Road leading to the Hill property—will be named for Allen Nelson Crutcher "ANC" Williams, who opened the first Black-owned business in Franklin in 1863. Williams was born into slavery in 1844 and was sold to a Franklin family at age 6. Following the Emancipation Proclamation, Williams built and opened a general store in downtown Franklin, which catered to both Black and white customers. He also founded the first church for former slaves in Franklin and was a leader in the Natchez Street community before his death in 1930, according to the city.

The motion to rename both street sections passed 6-1, with Vice Mayor Beverly Burger voting against. Burger said during the meeting she would have preferred another local leader be named in place of King.

See a map of both street sections below.