A name change for a rural road just outside of Dresden has been given the green light by Chatham-Kent Council.

Council approved changing the name of Uncle Tom’s Road to Freedom Road by an 11-7 vote.

In an effort to fight anti-black racism, the Ontario Heritage Trust requested that the municipality change the name of the road.

Seven households live on the road and will have to make arrangements to change their personal information and records.

The change is slated to go into effect July 25th, however Mayor Darrin Canniff says staff are continuing to look into how the renaming process will be reflected through online maps and GPS devices.

The road is the home of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, maintained for the public by the Ontario Heritage Trust. The museum also plans on changing its name in the future, said Chatham-Kent’s director of planning services Ryan Jacques.

Officials with the Ontario Heritage Trust say the term ‘Uncle Tom’ embodies many of the prejudices and biases at the root of anti-Black racism, with the term implying that a person of African descent is a traitor to their race.