UNITED STATES NEWS

NYC bird group drops name of illustrator and slave owner Audubon

Jun 11, 2024, 9:26 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The conservationist group known as NYC Audubon has changed its name to NYC Bird Alliance to distance itself from the pro-slavery views of ornithologist and illustrator John James Audubon, the organization announced.

The name change, which was formalized by a June 5 membership vote, follows similar moves by Audubon Society chapters in Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Oregon and other cities.

“Names may be symbolic, but symbols matter,” said Jessica Wilson, NYC Bird Alliance’s executive director. “They matter to staff, to volunteers, to members, and to the larger conservation community. We collaborate widely with our partners across the five boroughs, and want this name change to signal how much we value and seek broadly cooperative efforts to save wild birds.”

The newly named NYC Bird Alliance formed in 1979 and calls itself an independent chapter affiliated with the National Audubon Society, whose board voted last year to keep the Audubon name despite the fact that Audubon was a slave owner and an opponent of abolitionism.

Audubon, who lived from 1785 to 1851, is known for documenting birds and illustrating them for his master work “The Birds of America.”

Audubon owned enslaved people for a number of years but sold them in 1830 when he moved to England, where he was overseeing the production of “The Birds of America,” according to Gregory Nobles, the author of “John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman.”

When Britain emancipated enslaved people in most of its colonies in 1834, Audubon wrote to his wife that the government had “acted imprudently and too precipitously.”

NYC Bird Alliance’s leaders say they hope that dropping the Audubon name will help them win broader support for their mission of advocating for endangered and threatened bird species.

“For the sake of the Piping Plover, Philadelphia Vireo, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Bobolink, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Fish Crow, and many other species, we need help,” NYC Birding Alliance says on its website’s “FAQS About Audubon Name” page. “We cannot allow our name to be a barrier to our conservation, advocacy, and engagement work.”

United States News

This photo provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows a monolith near Gass Peak, Ne...

Associated Press

Gleaming monolith pops up in Nevada desert, the latest in a series of quickly vanishing structures

Jutting out of the rocks in a remote mountain range near Las Vegas, the monolith's reflective surface imitates the vast desert landscape surrounding the mountain peak where it has been erected.

2 hours ago

Associated Press

California man charged with killing gay college student takes the stand

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man charged with killing a gay University of Pennsylvania student in an alleged hate crime six years ago testified Tuesday about how the two men connected on social media and went to a park. It was the last time the victim was seen. Samuel Woodward, 26, took the […]

4 hours ago

President Joe Biden turns to the others on the dais after speaking during an event marking the 12th...

Associated Press

Half a million immigrants could eventually get US citizenship under a sweeping new plan from Biden

President Joe Biden ordered expansive election-year action Tuesday to offer potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of immigrants without legal status in the U.S.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Alaska did not provide accessible voting for those with disabilities, US Justice Department alleges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act for not providing accessible machines for in-person voting, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday. The state was also faulted for selecting inaccessible polling places and operating a state elections website that can’t be accessed by everyone. The department informed […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

New York’s ‘equal rights’ constitutional amendment restored to ballot by appeals court

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A proposed amendment to New York’s constitution barring discrimination based on “gender identity” and “pregnancy outcomes” was restored to the November election ballot Tuesday by a state appeals court. In a short decision, a panel of midlevel appellate judges overturned a May decision by an upstate judge to strike the proposed […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Texas megachurch pastor resigns after woman says he sexually abused her in the 1980s

DALLAS (AP) — The pastor of a Texas megachurch has resigned after a woman said he had sexually abused her on multiple occasions in the 1980s, beginning when she was 12. Gateway Church’s board of elders said in a statement Tuesday that they’d accepted the resignation of Robert Morris, the church’s senior pastor and founder. […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

NYC bird group drops name of illustrator and slave owner Audubon