High Point community fights to retain historic neighborhood name
Plans to rebuild a public housing development in High Point also aimed to change the name of the area.
HIGH POINT, NC – Hundreds of people are calling to keep the name of a High Point public housing complex.
It was originally named for a prominent black man in the city’s history, Reverend Daniel Brooks.
An empty field, street scars and piles of rubbish are all that remains of this development, which has been home to many people for the 80 years it has stood on the east side.
Brian Edwards grew up in Daniel Brooks homes.
“They had low incomes. They were still good citizens,” Edwards said. “They wanted to go to work and be able to support their families. That’s how my mom and I were.”
He left High Point in his early twenties to pursue a basketball career. He first played at Barber-Scotia College, then at the University of Minnesota and eventually played internationally in Germany, Italy and Spain.
He now lives in Fort Meyers, Florida and co-owns a team in Berlin. He still remembers the lessons he learned from Daniel Brooks.
“I think Daniel Brooks really shaped me,” Edwards said. “My mom always said if you ever put yourself in the position like I am today to help others, always do it.”
WFMY News 2 visited the neighborhood in 2019 when news of the reconstruction broke. Everyone we spoke to at the time approved of the project.
Edwards too, but he’s not a fan of the new name – Legacy Ridge.
“I think the name should stay on this site,” Edwards said.
Daniel Brooks was a Methodist minister and served several terms as a school trustee in the early 1900s. The City of High Point Housing Authority chose him as the namesake of apartments when they were built in the 1940s.
Current CEO Angela McGill told WFMY News 2’s Grace Holland in a statement that the new name allows all of High Point’s historic black leaders to be honored.
“These people will be honored with the names of streets, buildings and community spaces, as well as exhibits about the history of Daniel Brooks Homes. Reverend Daniel Brooks and the community that Daniel Brooks has provided will be at the center of these Details of the other winners and respective acknowledgments will be announced at the groundbreaking for the new property,” said McGill.
Reverend Angela Roberson started the “Daniel Brooks Keepers of the Name” group and an online petition to keep Brooks’ name on the resort.
She and Edwards would like to see a compromise. They would like the resort to be called Daniel Brooks Legacy Ridge.
“I think it would be amazing to continue the legacy of the town of High Point,” Edwards said.
The Housing Authority is scheduled to meet Roberson and the petitioners on March 3.
Construction of the new homes is expected to begin this summer.