BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — After hearing from a coalition of neighborhood advocates Thursday morning, Boston's Public Improvement Commission approved the changing of the name of Dudley Square to Nubian Square.
For hundreds of years, the square has been named in memory of Gov. Thomas Dudley, who oversaw the legalization of the slave trade in Massachusetts.
Sadiki Kambon heads the Nubian Square Coalition, which pushed for the change.
"We need to have a name that's reflective of our culture and gives the signal of opportunity, particularly for our young people," he told WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin. "That's why we want to call it Nubian Square."
Mayor Marty Walsh congratulated the advocates behind the change, tweeting, "When residents speak out, change happens."
The renaming was approved despite the failure of a city-wide referendum. A non-binding ballot question was put to voters in Boston's municipal elections in November; that vote failed, with 54 percent of the 52,970 votes cast against the change.
But the next day, Mayor Walsh's office said those who actually live in Roxbury voted overwhelmingly for the change—1,986 for, to 957 against.
"I am proud of the community for their continued advocacy on this issue," Walsh told the Associated Press at the time.
Walsh said he supported the neighborhood results of that referendum being honored.
WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin reports