Arrow-right Camera
Opinion >  Letters

The Carl Maxey Bridge

Spokane is building a bridge that connects East Central with the University District. The names under consideration range from uncreative to downright boring, so I would like to offer another suggestion: Carl Maxey Bridge.

In the first half of the 20th century, when blacks moved to Spokane, they were steered to East Central - the black neighborhood.

It was Carl Maxey, more than any other single person, who desegregated Spokane. Despite growing up in an orphanage, Maxey attended Gonzaga, where he graduated with a law degree. As Spokane’s first black attorney, Maxey was eager to defend those impacted by racist policies and to challenge the structures that perpetrated them.

He took on the school district for refusing to hire black teachers, and he won. He took on barber shops that would not serve black customers, and he won. He took on important social clubs that denied blacks membership, and he won. He took on racist housing policies that had segregated Spokane, and he won.

The New York Times credited Maxey with “virtually singlehandedly desegregating much of the inland Northwest.” Although he did not work alone, this claim is hardly an overstatement.

The new bridge should be named the Carl Maxey Bridge.

Logan Camporeale

Spokane


 

Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters of no more than 200 words on topics of public interest. Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt. We accept no more than one letter a month from the same writer. Please remember to include your daytime phone number and street address. The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.

Send letters to:
Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Email: editor@spokesman.com
Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430