City transit officials have officially renamed two Crown Heights subway stations after civil rights icon Medgar Evers and the nearby CUNY college campus bearing the anti-segregationist’s name.
Franklin Avenue station along Eastern Parkway will now be known as “Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College” station, while President Street station along Nostrand Avenue will henceforth don signs reading “President Street-Medgar Evers College.”
The new signage marks a rare name change within the 472-station subway system, and makes the two train depots among the few bearing a person’s first and last name, said one city transportation honcho.
“You don’t just go around renaming subway stations every day or it loses what’s important about it,” New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said on Thursday. “Honoring Medgar Evers College and Medgar Evers the man are two genuinely great reasons.”
The name change came as a result of a bill introduced in the state legislature by a trio of central Brooklyn pols — State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, and Assemblyman Walter Mosley — and was funded by a $250,000 legislative grant from Albany’s lower chamber reps.
Mosley hailed the homage to Evers, highlighting the importance of having positive role models prominently displayed in the community for Brooklynites to revere.
“How do we create positive impacts and images for people young and old to be positively socially conditioned during a time in which negativity has been normalized?” he said.
Evers was a civil rights activist in Mississippi who fought segregation in his home state while registering Black Mississippians to vote during the 1950s and 1960s, until he was assassinated in his driveway by a white supremacist in 1963.
Borough President Eric Adams chimed in on Thursday to recognize Evers’ contribution to the equality of Black Americans, saying that he and other successful African Americas couldn’t have reached their potential without the civil rights hero.
“There’s no President Obama, or Borough President Adams, without Medgar Evers,” the beep wrote on Twitter. “Acknowledging the pioneering work of our civil rights foremothers and forefathers, who carried the baton for social justice in some of our hardest days, lifts up our underground.”
Medgar Evers College was founded in 1970 through the collaboration of central Brooklyn community groups, and currently serves around 6,700 students as one of 25 CUNY campuses. The school is also recognized as a historically Black college — one of the only such educational institutions in New York State.
“Having our name on these stations serves as a tangible representation of the role that this institution plays in the academic and cultural fabric of this community and will serve as a great source of pride to our students, faculty, and alumni throughout New York City,” said Medgar Evers College President Rudy Crew.