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File #: 180436    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 5/3/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 5/10/2018
Title: Also naming South Street, between 23rd and 24th Streets, "Lois Fernandez Way", to honor the life and lasting legacy of Lois Fernandez, founder of the Odunde Festival.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Squilla, Council President Clarke, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 18043600.pdf, 2. Signature18043600.pdf
Title
Also naming South Street, between 23rd and 24th Streets, "Lois Fernandez Way", to honor the life and lasting legacy of Lois Fernandez, founder of the Odunde Festival.

Body
WHEREAS, Lois Fernandez was born in 1936 and raised in South Philadelphia by parents who ingrained in her the importance of community involvement and activism. Ms. Fernandez's mother was the first African-American woman to be elected committee person in South Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia SUN. Remembering the beloved South Philadelphia of her childhood, Ms. Fernandez made note of the vibrant and flourishing community that persevered through the depths of the Great Depression; "we were all poor together," she wrote in her memoir, entitled Recollections; and

WHEREAS, The importance of Ms. Fernandez's African roots to her identity could not be understated, and she chose to celebrate these roots at a time in the nation's history when few others did. In 1962, Ms. Fernandez adopted an afro hairstyle and endured being ostracized by her coworkers at the Quartermaster Depot for her decision to celebrate her heritage in this way. Out of a continued desire to increase African cultural awareness and appreciation, Ms. Fernandez joined with two relatives and a close friend in 1966 to open Uhuru Hut, a store that specialized in Afrocentric clothing, jewelry, and fine art, that was located at the corner of 23rd and Lombard Streets; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Fernandez was unexpectedly thrust into a legal battle over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's use of the term "illegitimate" on the birth certificates of children born to single mothers, after giving birth to her son Ade'yemi in 1967. After filing a federal lawsuit, Ms. Fernandez was successful in removing the word from Pennsylvania birth certificates, thereby establishing in the eyes of the law that all children born in Pennsylvania are legitimate; and

WHEREAS, The activist spirit that animated Lois Fernandez throughout her life m...

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