The City Council of New Orleans unanimously voted to rename Robert E. Lee Boulevard for Allen Toussaint. The street, which stretches for four and a half miles through Lakeview and Gentilly, will officially go by its new name starting on Feb. 1, 2022.

The campaign to honor Toussaint started after his death in 2015 at the age of 77 and aligned with the push to rename several city parks and streets in New Orleans that honor white supremacists and confederates. The call to action from the City Council was amplified by the Black Lives Matter Movement and the death of George Floyd.

“This process was very thoughtful and in-depth,” Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said according to

The street was originally named Hibernia Avenue to honor the thousands of Irish workers who died digging the New Basin Canal but was renamed to Robert E. Lee Boulevard in 1960 amid the civil rights, in an obvious act and message of white resistance.

The vote followed another unanimous decision to rename Jefferson Davis Parkway for the former president of Xavier University, Norman C. Francis.

Toussaint was chosen for his local and international contributions to the music scene, cultural impact, and dedication to the city. Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “[Toussaint] encompasses everything that is naturally New Orleans.”

Read Relix‘s archival conversation with Toussaint here.