Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Supervisor Proposes Renaming Lindbergh Park for Lucille Berrien

Berrien is a long-time activist that was involved in the fair housing marches of the 1960's.

By - Jun 4th, 2021 05:39 pm
Lindbergh Park. Photo taken June 4th, 2021 by Angeline Terry.

Lindbergh Park. Photo taken June 4th, 2021 by Angeline Terry.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Priscilla E. Coggs-Jones has sponsored a resolution that would rename Lindbergh Park for local Milwaukee activist, Lucille Berrien.

The park is located at the intersection of N. 16th St. and W. Nash St. It’s named for the pilot Charles Lindbergh, who gained renown after making the first solo, non-stop flight between Paris and New York City in 1927.

Lindbergh was also racist and anti-Semitic, claiming Jewish people were pushing the U.S. into conflict with Germany during World War II, and arguing against the war along racial lines saying “peace and security” could be had “only so long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood,” in a 1939 article for Reader’s Digest, in which he also expressed worry about “dilution by foreign races.”

In April, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression began calling for the park to be renamed for Berrien. The group said there was majority support in the area for the name change, WUWM reported.

The resolution sponsored by Coggs-Jones says Berrien is a “prominent and highly regarded individual in Milwaukee” and notes that she was an activist with the open housing movement in Milwaukee and the Welfare Mothers March. In 1972, Berrien was the first Black woman to run for mayor in the city, but lost to Milwaukee’s longest serving mayor, Henry Maier.

Coggs-Jones’ resolution also recognizes Berrien for serving on the Legal Action of Wisconsin Board of Directors, the Black Health Coalition Board and for fostering 120 children.

“Milwaukee County is committed to ensuring that its monuments, including its parks, are named after those individuals or communities that represent our highest and best values and the County’s dedication to racial equity,” the resolution states, therefore it should rename the park for Berrien to honor her “many contributions to our community and her neighborhood.”

Lindbergh Park was conveyed to Milwaukee County by the City of Milwaukee in 1936. The deed included a provision requiring the park be named for Lindbergh. In order for the county to rename the park, the city will have to repeal that provision, according to Coggs-Jones’ resolution.

The resolution directs Milwaukee County Parks to work with the city to repeal the provision, and also authorizes $9,750 for signage at the park.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Supervisors Sheldon Wasserman, Willie Johnson, Jr. and Ryan Clancy. It also has the support of AFSCME Wisconsin.

Categories: MKE County, Parks, Weekly

2 thoughts on “MKE County: Supervisor Proposes Renaming Lindbergh Park for Lucille Berrien”

  1. frank a schneiger says:

    A brief historic footnote. As a leader of the America First movement, Lindbergh was seriously considered as a presidential candidate against Franklin Roosevelt in1940. In her excellent history, “1940,” the historian Susan Dunn poses the question: Was Lindbergh a Nazi? After laying out the evidence, her answer is, Yes, Lindbergh was a Nazi. Rename the park.

  2. Larraine says:

    This is a necessary and wonderful tribute to the great Ms Berrien. Go for it

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