CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Local leaders and family members of Pioneer Civil Rights leader James R. Mapp gathered on east Martin Luther King, Jr. boulevard today to dedicate a new street in his name.
Back in the 1960’s, James Mapp one of the leaders in the civil rights marches and lunch counter sit-ins in the south. These daily events led to needed changes across the south and the nation.
Despite Mr. Mapp passing in 2015, his name lives on with this newly renamed street.
Surrounded by loved ones, James Mapp’s wife was grateful for all of the people that attended the event in honor of her husband.
Mrs. Mapp said, “I would like to thank all of you all for coming out here today. And, thank ya’ll for loving my husband who was a real dedicated person.. He loved everyone, no matter what the color was.”
City Councilman Erskine Oglesby believes Mrs. Mapp played a significant role in her husband’s legacy for supporting him through these historical experiences.
Oglesby said, “He married this lady who sustained him over time to help him be the person that he is.. the man, the civil rights icon, the Christian person, and the person that will keep us moving foreword on doing the right thing and that’s bringing people together no matter what your race, ethnicity, religion or physical charactistics.”
The leader of the Hamilton County NAACP believes that civil rights icons such as James Mapp stood up and helped change the nation, and thankfully had family support.
NCAA President Dr. Elenora Woods said, “I think that the sacrifices that the entire family has made needs to be noted today. Because they gave their father up to the community.”
Mayor Andy Berke presented the Mapp family with a commemorative James R. Mapp street sign to honor Mr. Mapp’s impact on Chattanooga and beyond in his tireless efforts for equality.
James R. Mapp street is officially located near the NAACP office where he served for 16 years as president.
Mr. Mapp also served as a leader of NAACP Tennessee, and dedicated his life to equality and improving the lives of others.