Metro Denies Request To Rename Hadley Park, Despite Link to Slave-Owning Family | Nashville Public Radio

Metro Denies Request To Rename Hadley Park, Despite Link to Slave-Owning Family

Jun 13, 2018

The Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation denied a request to consider changing the name of Nashville's Hadley Park on Tuesday.

North Nashville resident Joshua Lipscomb collected more than 500 signatures in an online petition to rename the park after Civil Rights leader Malcolm X. He believes the park is currently named for the former slave owner who once owned the land.

"The reason this park name has not been an issue up until now is because for the majority of our community, we had no idea of this atrocity," Lipscomb said at the board meeting. "But, once made aware, we now feel humiliated, bamboozled, disrespected and degraded by this name."

Hadley Park opened in 1912 and was the first park purchased by the city to be used exclusively by people of color. 

But the land was part of a plantation run by the slave-owning Hadley family. Facilities in the park, including a tennis center, are also named after the family.

Board members unanimously denied the request, they cited a longstanding policy of not renaming parks.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the park was named after John Hadley and that he owned the land on which the park now sits. In fact, it was William Hadley who owned the land, and there is a debate about which Hadley the park was named after.