Franklin unveils two street names for Black leaders

Community members and city officials held a ceremony for the new street names June 18. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Community members and city officials held a ceremony for the new street names June 18. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Community members and city officials held a ceremony for the new street names June 18. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The two roads are located near Bicentennial Park in downtown Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
On the eve the new federal holiday Juneteenth, city officials and residents gathered downtown June 18 to unveil two new street signs named for leaders in the Black community.

Signs for ANC Williams Way and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue have been placed along the former 3rd Avenue extension near Bicentennial Park. The move comes after the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the renaming May 11.

“We’ve gathered together today to name two streets for two people who’ve made such a difference for so many lives in our community: one, a local, and the other, an international figure,” Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said during the event.

The first roadway was named for Allen Nelson Crutcher "ANC" Williams, a former slave who went on to become the first Black business owner in Franklin in the 1860s. Williams was also a leader in the Natchez Street community and owned properties in the “Hard Bargain” neighborhood before his death in 1930, according to the city.

“Today, I see a lot of love,” Williams’ great-granddaughter Cassandra Taylor said. “I see a lot of diversity. My father, Fred Williams, who I’m sure a lot of you knew, he would be so proud.”


The second roadway is named for civil rights leader King, who was killed in Memphis in 1968. Moore said while King never visited Franklin to his knowledge, he remains an important figure in Black history. Additionally, the roadway leads to the Toussaint L'Ouverture Cemetery, where many Black leaders and residents are buried. More than 900 streets worldwide have been named in his honor, including nine in Tennessee.

“Even though he didn’t visit Franklin, his influence was just as great as Mr. Williams, who lived here, worked here and died here,” Moore said. "I encourage us to continue to work together to build harmony in our community and to know who our neighbors are and be a community where all citizens have the same opportunities for a great place to live, a great place to work, a great place to raise a family and a great place to play.”

The two roadways connect and lead to the Hill Property, which is slated to become affordable housing in the future, according to the city. Local historian and author Thelma Battle spoke during the ceremony about the significance of the new road names as well as the importance of recognizing the area’s Black history and passing it along to future generations.

“[This roadway] is a gateway to progress,” Battle said. “That road up there will lead to young people discovering the history that they need to know of this county and the African American people who worked hard, thrived and died here.”
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new masking recommendations during a July 27 press conference.

Integrated Biometric Technology LLC announced in late July is will relocate its corporate headquarters to Franklin. (Courtesy Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development)
Fingerprinting company Integrated Biometric Technology to relocate to Franklin

The company is expected to bring more than 140 new jobs to the area.

Williamson County mayors met July 27 for Franklin Tomorrow's Breakfast with the Mayors event. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County mayors discuss new property tax rate, COVID-19 concern during Franklin Tomorrow event

In its first summit since 2020, all seven Williamson County mayors met July 27 during Franklin Tomorrow's Breakfast with the Mayors to discuss top county concerns.

The school is slated to open in January. (Courtesy Galileo Preparatory Academy)
Galileo Preparatory Academy to open Franklin school in 2022

The campus will offer a family-friendly scheduling model as well as a blend of virtual and in-person learning with personalized curriculum. 

Brentwood City Hall is located at 5211 Maryland Way. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
City of Brentwood to host inaugural History Buff Bowl

The event will feature adults from five groups putting their knowledge of American history to the test.

Masks will be optional but encouraged for students and staff at WCS. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County Schools go mask-optional; blood needed in Middle Tennessee and more top Franklin and Brentwood news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Franklin and Brentwood areas.

Students in the district will not be required to wear masks at the start of the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Franklin Special School District to make face masks optional for 2021-22 school year

While the district will continue implementing social distancing and sanitizing protocols, masks will be optional.

Masks will be optional but encouraged for students and staff at WCS. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County Schools to be mask-optional at start of 2021-22 school year

While masks will be optional but still encouraged, quarantine policies will still be in place in accordance with local health department guidelines.

Blood Assurance will open a new blood donation center on Frazier Drive in Cool Springs. (Photos by Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blood Assurance to open brick-and-mortar donation center in Cool Springs

Amid local and national blood shortages, Blood Assurance is looking to expand its donor pool while making donating more convenient.

North Italia is now open in McEwen Northside. (Courtesy North Italia, Nathan Zucker)
North Italia now open in Franklin

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant offers handcrafted cuisine and cocktails, such as prosciutto pizza, handmade pastas and signature cocktails.

A Brentwood nonprofit is looking to secure funding to design a new mountain-bike trail in Smith Park. (Courtesy Pexels)
Bike Walk Brentwood looks to bring mountain-bike trail to Smith Park

The proposed trail, which would be 3-5 miles in length, would serve as a new amenity for mountain bikers in the Brentwood area as well as for students wishing to compete in interscholastic competitions.