College Park chooses name Ancestor’s Lane, honors local Black history
BY HANNAH STEIN
The College Park City Council unanimously approved the street name Ancestor’s Lane on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The Restorative Justice Commission, in the Lakeland community of College Park, works to combat racial inequality. The commission recently worked on naming a new street in a new development in College Park, which will be called Ancestor’s Lane.
“The Lakeland community, in particular, was historically Black,” College Park’s Racial Equity Officer Kayla Carter explained. “This commission [was founded] directly in response to the urban renewal of Lakeland.”
Ancestor’s Lane is a narrow street between two recently built apartment buildings, the Aster and Standard complexes.
According to Carter, the Prince George’s County Planning Committee asked the commission to choose a name for the street.
“We thought it would be appropriate to contact the Restorative Justice [Commission] to see if they would like to pay tribute to or honor an individual important to the College Park Black community,” Director of Planning and Community Development Miriam Bader explained.
On August 27, a few weeks before deciding on the new name, the commission held Lakeland Day. During the festival, community members voted on the various names that the commission proposed, and Ancestor’s Lane won.
Carter explained that the commission wanted to include the community in the decision. However, from the beginning, the commission knew that they wanted to steer away from people’s names. Instead, they wanted to give the street a name that an entire community could connect with.
In the future, the commission aims to create a few committees: a truth and reconciliation committee, an engagement committee, and a restorative and transformative justice committee.
The commission hopes that these committees can work directly with historical records, build community engagement, and work toward reparations, according to Carter
Currently, Carter, as the city’s racial equity officer, is the staff liaison to the commission. Within a few years, Carter hopes the commission expands into an entire city department, she said.
Carter hopes that many people in the greater College Park community see these street names and see a part of their identity represented. One of the main goals of the commission is to help the Black community of Lakeland, specifically, redeem a sense of history and shared identity.
“It’s a very large project, and things are still new, but we’re doing the best we can,” Carter said.