HOUSTON (FOX 26) - "My grandfather was beaten up In Bastrop, Texas -- he was attacked by KKK members, there were crosses burning in his front yard," says Preston Middleton, who grew up in the historic Third Ward of Houston. Now, he wants Dowling, a street named after celebrated Civil War Confederate Major Richard William Dowling, changed.
"This is a wrong done to us so I make no apologies about it and I'm willing to take the attacks," said Middleton. "This is a wrong done toward us."
Middleton and Texas State Representative Garnet Coleman, who has been instrumental in the reconstruction of Emancipation Park, which sits on Dowling Street, will meet with Mayor Sylvester Turner at a public hearing on Thursday to discuss having the street renamed Emancipation Avenue.
"Most of our parks, the streets corresponds to the name of the park," explains Rep. Coleman. "It rights a wrong because this was purposeful and it's never too late to right something that was purposeful that had been done wrong."
For some people who have seen the name Dowling on street signs throughout their neighborhood, feelings are mixed.
"I would say leave it like it is," says Allie Williams, a lifelong resident of the Third Ward. "Raised up here on Dowling Street and everyone knows about that and then you change it over to Emancipation and they're lost."
Excell Lawrence doesn't agree and says the name Dowling doesn't serve his community anymore.
"A name says a lot, throughout history, what you call yourself is who you represent, so if you don't call yourself anything but the right name, who's to know what the past is?," says Lawrence.