Nashville Street Renamed After First Black Girl Scout Troop Leader

A street in Nashville will formally be renamed to highlight a notable member of the city’s Black community. Josephine Holloway, the first troop leader for Black Girl Scouts, will have her name forever remembered where she first made history.

Downtown Nashville’s Lifeway Plaza will be officially changed to Josephine Holloway Avenue. According to WKRN, the original request was submitted in September 2022 to the Metro Planning Commission. By that February, the Mayor of Nashville, John Cooper, signed off on its approval. Now, almost a year later, the transformation is becoming a reality.

Holloway, seeking a space for Black girls to be part of the outdoors organization, created a camp, which was given her surname. It became a part of the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, which actively included Black girls who faced discrimination in joining other troops.

She was the founder and lead facilitator on the campgrounds, even cutting the grass to ensure the quality of the camp upon the scouts’ arrival.

The expansive camp has over 76 acres in Millersville, a town approximately 15 miles north of Nashville. The attendees were introduced to all the traditions and benefits of being a Girl Scout in a period when that opportunity was not always afforded to diverse groups.

Of her legacy, Girls Scouts CEO Agenia Clark shared that Holloway did not let the obstacles disrupt the girls’ potential experience.

“She said this isn’t a barrier; this is an opportunity, and she found that opportunity in the land that is now known as Camp Holloway,” she said.

After learning of her story 19 years ago, Clark helped the local troop present today honor Holloway’s importance to the background of Girl Scouts with a historical marker created in 2019.

Now, Holloway will have an additional show of appreciation through the street renaming. With her name now memorialized, those passing through downtown Nashville will witness it and potentially inquire further about her impact on the southern city.