The City of Tallahassee and Florida A&M University will soon commemorate the late Robert and Trudie Perkins, who were instrumental in the local civil rights movement, by naming a street in their honor.
Robert and Trudie Perkins Way (formerly Gamble Street) will be officially unveiled at a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 10, at 8:30 a.m. in the FAMU Welcome Center Parking Lot, 1420 Wahnish Way. The timing of the event coincides with what would have been the couple’s 75th wedding anniversary.
Robert and Trudie Perkins graduated from FAMU in the 1940s. They owned a local business and pursued noble professions. Robert worked in higher education; Trudie in nursing.
Both fought for equal opportunity for and treatment of African Americans. Robert began his activism working to get recreational facilities for local children. Trudie led their journey in workplace reform, by seeking equal pay for African American nurses. Their efforts toward racial equality were a catalyst to greater equity in Tallahassee.
“Robert and Trudie Perkins sought to make Tallahassee a more inclusive community, a place where everyone had opportunities to work and play with dignity,” Mayor John Dailey said. “Their legacy lives on, and it is my hope that having their names prominently featured on FAMU’s campus and in their former neighborhood serves as an inspiration to the next generation of leaders.”
The idea to honor the couple in their former neighborhood by naming a street after them was conceptualized by local residents. FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., sent a letter to the City Commission in support of the name change.
“Gracing our campus with the new Robert and Trudie Perkins Way gives us the honor of recognizing a husband-and-wife team who contributed so much to positive change in this community,” Robinson said. “They were tireless in their advocacy and relentless in their fight for social justice and economic equality.”
The City and FAMU will stream the ceremony live at YouTube.com/user/WCOT, YouTube.com/user/famutube1887 and Facebook.com/FAMU1887/.