JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville city leaders will discuss the idea of renaming a local school after civil rights attorney Earl Johnson Sr..
Johnson was the first Black attorney admitted to the Jacksonville Bar Association and represented prominent civil rights activists throughout his career, including working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
According to his biography with the Civil Rights Hall of Fame, Johnson led a lucrative legal career and was a champion for equal rights. Johnson became known for taking on cases that helped desegregate public places in Florida, including schools, parks, water fountains and hospitals.
He also served as chair for the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and is said to have played a key role during Jacksonville’s consolidation.
The referendum is sponsored by council members Matt Carlucci and Ju’Coby Pittman.
Last month, the Duval County School board voted unanimously to add three more schools to its list of schools being considered for name changes, bring the total to nine.
The issue of renaming schools has been a major topic in the River City this year. Some have applauded the proposals, but critics say it’s not the right move and is an attempt to eliminate history.
Johnson has a memorial park named in his honor on St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville.