Gamble Street renamed for Civil Rights ‘power couple’ Robert and Trudie Perkins

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Civil Rights “power couple” is now immortalized on FAMU’s campus. Part of Gamble Street has been renamed Robert and Trudie Perkins Way.

Leon County Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the change; the City of Tallahassee and FAMU held a ceremony for the name change Friday morning.

“Today would have been their 75th wedding anniversary,” City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said.

“They were anointed and appointed by God to make life better for people in our City, even though they both paid with the loss of their jobs and livelihood,” local historian Delaitre Hollinger said.

The Perkins pushed for the creation of parks for African American children, equal pay for black nurses, and obtained a federal court decision requiring the City of Tallahassee to hire a black workforce that better reflected the community.

Deputy City Manager Cynthia Barber said she was a direct result of the new policy, thanking the Perkins’ daughter during the ceremony.

FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson was also at Friday’s ceremony, lauding the Perkins for their work.

“The Perkins, however, took on these battles at a time when in this community, racial and social justice issues weren’t as cool as they are today,” Dr. Robinson said.

County Commissioners Rick Minor, Bill Proctor, and Carolyn Cummings were present, along with City Commissioners Jack Porter, Jeremy Matlow, Dianne Williams-Cox, Curtis Richardson, and Mayor John Dailey.

“As a math professor and as a nurse, they were graduates of what was then Florida A&M College, but they were also business owners as well,” Mayor Dailey said.

NAACP President Mutaqee Akbar said the renaming is positive; he emphasized the importance of not only telling stories of black history, but institutionalizing the history.

He also said it’s important to celebrate black history year round, not just one month a year.

“Our children can now look up and see a black family, and a black family that did great things for Tallahassee,” Akbar said.

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