A petition that has gained steamed, amassing nearly 2,000 signatures, calls for Calhoun Road to be renamed in honor of George Floyd, a Third Ward native whose death in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 sparked international outrage.
Calhoun Road, which runs through the UH campus before turning into Martin Luther King Boulevard, is named after John C. Calhoun, who was a prominent defender of slavery in the antebellum South and U.S. vice president from 1825-1832.
“The mere existence and location of this road is a desecration to the community and its inhabitants,” the petition said. “It should be renamed in honor of Houston’s own George Floyd, whose tragic death sparked a global movement.”
This is not the first time Calhoun’s name has sparked calls for change at and near UH.
The University Lofts, formerly known as the Calhoun Lofts to coincide with the adjacent city street, were renamed in 2017 after several universities across the country faced backlash over their Confederate monuments amid rising national tensions.
Earlier that year, Yale University removed Calhoun’s name from one of its residential colleges and renamed it after computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper.