In the News

Activists protest Cecil B. Moore bus route name change

April 25, 2012|By Vernon Clark, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

North Philadelphia community activists are set to meet with SEPTA officials Wednesday to to voice their opposition to abbreviating the name of the late civil rights leader Cecil B. Moore on the buses that run along the avenue named in his honor.

The route sign on the Route 3 buses that run along Cecil B. Moore Avenue was changed from “Cecil B. Moore Ave.” to “CB Moore Ave.” in December, officials said. Jerri Williams, a spokesman for SEPTA, said the change was made so the sign would be more visible to riders. The Route 3 bus runs from 33d Street to the Frankford Transportation Center at Bridge Street and Frankford Avenue.

Melvin Dorn, a North Philadelphia community activist, said the change “disrespected the legacy” of Moore, who led protests against the segregation of Girard College in the 1960s and other civil rights initiatives in Philadelphia.

In a letter to SEPTA officials, Dorn, representing a group called the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, said the organization and its supporters were “requesting that SEPTA restore the full name of Cecil B. Moore.”

“We believe the abbreviated form, CB Moore, takes away from the full historical significance of his life, devotion, and sacrifices to uplifting the dignity of a people who lived in Philadelphia at a time of Jim Crow laws (legal segregation and discrimination),” Dorn stated in the letter. “If it was not for African American community leaders like Cecil B. Moore, the majority of African Americans in this city would not be working in many careers that were once offered only to white citizens.”

Williams said SEPTA was not trying to diminish the legacy of Moore, but was trying to make the signs easier to see as the buses near the stops. Frances M. Jones, a community relations specialist with SEPTA, said signs on buses throughout the system were changed to make them more visible.

On the previous signs on the buses the full name was displayed on two lines, officials said. The current signs are on one line and use a larger type face.

Williams said SEPTA officials were mindful of the activists’ concerns and did not intend to disrespect Moore’s legacy. She said the meeting would be at SEPTA headquarters in Center City at 11 a.m. Officials want to meet with the activists and “lay out all the different options, hear what their concerns are, and explain” why the change was made.

She said among the options would be to leave the signs as they are

, restore them to the original two lines, or put the full name on one line using a smaller size.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

 

SEPTA agrees to change Cecil B. Moore bus signs

April 26, 2012|By Vernon Clark, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Responding to opposition from North Philadelphia community activists, SEPTA officials announced Wednesday that they would stop abbreviating the name Cecil B. Moore on the bus line that runs on the street named after the late civil rights leader.

Signs on Route 3 buses that serve Cecil B. Moore Avenue were changed in December from Cecil B. Moore Ave. to C.B. Moore Ave. The name was abbreviated, officials said, to make route signs more visible to riders.

After a morning meeting at SEPTA’s Center City headquarters with about 13 community activists representing a group called the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, SEPTA officials said they would use the full name on the buses.

“We’re changing it back to Cecil B. Moore,” said Frances M. Jones, assistant general manager for SEPTA. The signs would read “33rd- Cecil B. Moore Ave.”

The Route 3 bus runs from 33d Street to the Frankford Transportation Center at Bridge Street and Frankford Avenue. In a recent letter to SEPTA, Melvin Dorn, a leader of the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, said the abbreviated name was “disrespectful” to the legacy of Cecil B. Moore, the lawyer and activist who led protests against segregation at Girard College in the 1960s and other civil rights efforts in the city. Dorn said the abbreviation diminished “the full historical significance” of Moore’s life.

After the meeting, Dorn said, “We’re satisfied that they are going to change the name. … We’re satisfied that they promised to make the change. They are doing the right thing.”

No disrespect was intended when the name was abbreviated, Jones said. The transit agency has not yet decided whether the name would be placed on one line or two, but, Jones said, the type size on the signs would be reduced to fit the full name.

She said that a mock-up of the new route sign would be developed in the next few weeks and that the new signs would be produced in the coming months.

Jazz on the Ave at Cecil B. Moore Ave

The Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters had a display booth at Jazz on the Ave at Cecil B. Moore Ave and entertained the crowds at 17th & Cecil B. Moore.

Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters at 2013 MLK Day of Service at Girard College

Freedom Smitty with Fire Commissioner Ayers, Lorraine Ballard-Morraine to the left.

Freedom Smitty with Fire Commissioner Ayers, Lorraine Ballard-Morraine to the left.

 

Karen displaying pictures donated by the Charles L. Blockson Library.

Karen displaying pictures donated by the Charles L. Blockson Library.

DSCN2932 DSCN2967 DSCN3001 DSCN3020 DSCN2897 DSCN2898 DSCN2937 DSCN2956 DSCN3003 DSCN3013

 

 

Web content, design and photos by Miranda Alexander

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