Ellis Avenue Renamed After Mississippi Blues Great Bobby Rush

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Mississippi’s capital, Jackson, is renaming one of its major streets for blues legend Bobby Rush, WLBT-TV reported. The musician, composer and singer has won two Grammy Awards for best traditional blues album — one in 2016 and one in 2020.

The Jackson City Council voted Tuesday to rename Ellis Avenue to Bobby Rush Boulevard, the name change to take effect in a month. Rush, a Lousiana native, moved to Jackson in the 1980s. 

He spoke to the Jackson City Council in April when a member first proposed renaming the street for him. He said he and his family faced racism in the Jim Crow South.

“I remember three white guys, two riding a horse and one guy leading a horse, when my daddy was getting hay out of a barn as a Black man. They asked my mom, ’What are you doing with this n-word?’” Rush said. He said his mother replied that she is also Black.

“She had to go into the store and prove she was a Black woman to save my daddy’s life,” Rush explained.

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