Kalief Browder, a Bronx, New York, man who committed suicide after spending years in solitary confinement at just 16, will have a street named in his honor.
According to a press release, Council Member Ritchie Torres unveiled the new street sign on what would’ve been Browder’s 24th birthday.
“Renaming a street that will bear his name is not merely an honor for him. It will stand as a moral inspiration to the rest of us,” Torres said Thursday. “The virtue of one’s life is measured by the impact that one has on others. Those of you who knew Kalief are better people for having known him. And those of us who knew of Kalief are better for having been awakened and inspired by his struggle for justice.”
Torres was joined by Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and members of Browder’s family.
“This is our family’s second year, since Kaliefs untimely death [and] dealing with the loss that not only affects us but everyone who took heart to his story,” Browder’s older brother, Akeem Browder said. “And all that will gather for this street re-naming we can all look up and see ‘Kalief Browder Way’ and think of the legacy he left for us to continue.”
The new street sign, “Kalief Browder Way,” will hang on the northwest corner of E. 181st St. and Prospect Ave.
Since Browder’s death, New York City has worked to clear backlogs in state courts, establish a citywide bail fund and ended solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-olds.
Last month, Gov. Bill de Blasio announced the closing of Rikers Island, the facility where Browder was detained. That same month, Sean “Jay Z” Carter in collaboration with Spike TV, produced a documentary on Kalief’s life and legacy, and the impact of his death on America.
Read EBONY’s exclusive interview with Akeem Browder about the documentary, the affects of closing Rikers and how his family will continue to honor Kalief’s legacy.