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New Iberia Activist Plans to Dedicate Field Street to J. Leo Hardy

Posted at 8:29 PM, Jun 02, 2022

New Iberia activists are making a push to change a street name in the city's west end.

The current street name is Field Street. Some residents of New Iberia want to change it to J. Leo Hardy Street.

J. Leo Hardy was the first president of New Iberia's NAACP chapter, and stood for the rights of African Americans in the city.

Residents of Field Street believe having a street named after him is a symbol of honor.

“But we want to recognize our ancestors because that’s whose shoulders we stand on. We must remember the J Leo Hardys and that’s why we give homage to them because without them we wouldn’t have the rights we have now,” said Cornelius Joseph.

To get the street renamed, most of the residents on Field Street must agree as well.

“Of this whole street,which goes from Julis Street all the way back to Landry Drive, we have 61 signatures which is 87 to 88 percent of people on the whole street,” said Donovan Davis.

The city council member who represents this part of New Iberia, Deedy-Johnson Reid, agrees with the change.

“I could always remember as a kid thinking this must be the way the slaves took to the field, that’s why the name became Field Street. So, I’m not opposed to changing that name because I hate that legacy, but I want to make sure that residents feel the same way,” Johnson-Reid said.

Once most residents on Field Street agree to this change it will be brought to the city council for a vote on the change.