PHILADELPHIA – Take a walk through the East Passyunk business district and you’ll see Native American imagery displayed all on the sidewalk to orange markers on poles up and down the street. But now, the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District says it’s in the process of changing the logo it’s had for 20 years.
“I think the old logo needs to be reconsidered,” said James Rising. We talked Rising and his wife Jo about it as they passed the office for the organization located on East Passyunk Avenue. They agree with the business improvement district’s decision. The announcement on the district’s website says “Aside from being long overdue the update is needed to address the misrepresentation of indigenous people that has inaccurately linked the silhouette of a Native American with the etymology of the Passyunk name from its Lenape roots.”
“I don’t know what the new one should look live but I think we should be having these conversations,” said Rising. The East Passyunk Business Improvement District’s statement went on to say “the prevalence of an image portraying a western plains headdress not generally worn by eastern tribes, including the Lenape, has been an unwitting slight against the original inhabitants of the region, and the organization recognizes the need for change.”
“We’re aware of a lot of teams changing their logos and I think it’s important to be inclusive not to offend different cultures,” said Jo Rising.
Vincent Herrmann has lived her for 20 years but says he hadn’t noticed the logo before hearing today about plans to change it.
“They could remove the picture and they could leave the name on there,” he said. The organization says it wants to acknowledge the historical connection to the Lenape tribe.
It’s working with different civic associations on an official plaque or historical marker.
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