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Greensboro Street To Be Renamed After Civil Rights Trailblazer

Josephine Boyd
Courtesy of Fannie Thompson
Josephine Boyd walks during a fashion show at North Carolina Central University. After being the first black student to graduate from Greensboro High School in 1958, she went on to graduate from NCCU.

The Greensboro City Council unanimously voted to rename North and South Aycock Streets and part of Westover Terrace.

The new name will honor Josephine Boyd. She was the first black student to desegregate Greensboro High School.

Boyd attended the then all-white Greensboro High, now named Grimsley High, in 1957.

The street runs in front of the high school, which is now named Grimsley.

It will now be named North Josephine Boyd Street and South Josephine Boyd Street.

Boyd died in 2015.

The street is currently named after Former Governor Charles Aycock. Aycock was known as the "education governor" and was also a prominent white supremacist in the early 20th century.

This isn't the first time something named after Aycock has been renamed. Aycock Middle School is now Swann Middle School and Aycock auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been renamed to UNCG Auditorium for the time being.

Community activist Lewis Brandon, who spearheaded the street rename, insists it had nothing to do with Aycock. He said it was all about honoring the struggle Boyd went through.

Officials estimate it will cost the city $15,000 to change the street signs and make other changes. The renaming will go into effect January 2.

Naomi P. Brown joined WUNC in January 2017.
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