In Hollywood City, Fl- there are a series of streets named after Confederate generals which are ironically at the heart of the city’s African-American neighborhood. City commissioners have agreed to move forward in changing the names of the streets, one of which is named after Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest in a bid to move forward and do the right thing by their residents who are primarily Black.
“”During a contentious three-hour meeting Monday night, the Hollywood City Commission voted 5-2 to begin renaming Lee Street, named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; Hood Street, named after Gen. John Bell Hood, and Forrest Street” “It is time to change the names and the time is now,” Commissioner Debra Case said during the meeting. “We must do the right thing and we must do it now.””
As Breanna Edwards for Root writes:
According to the Miami Herald, the commission voted on two key measures. One measure will have the city waive its policy of conducting a poll of residents who would be affected by the name change in order to avoid any tensions. Commissioner Richard Blattner, who proposed the measure, noted that if the commission takes the poll and most people don’t want the street names changed but the city goes ahead with the changes anyway, it would look as if the commissioners were not taking residents’ opinions into consideration.
The second measure, proposed by Vice Mayor Traci Callari, called for a dual-naming system for the streets over two years so that people could get used to the new names before the old names of “Lee,” “Forrest” and “Hood” completely disappear.
The streets are named after Gens. Robert E. Lee, John Bell Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
The commission will vote on the overall issue Aug. 30.
In the end, the names of the streets will be changing, whether swiftly or over time.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating on Aug. 30 when we finally vote on the street names officially being changed,” Esther Pereira, a resident and a Black Lives Matter activist, told the Herald.
“It is time to change the names, and the time is now. Hollywood has a proud history as a multicultural and nondiscriminatory city, and we the commission have an obligation to ensure that legacy to our residents in a consistent and timely manner,” Commissioner Debra Case said Monday. “We must do the right thing. And we must do it now. In conclusion, I support the street-name change of Forrest, Lee and Hood.”
Do you think changing the names of the streets is truly the right thing to do? Or are residents who take offense to the street names overly sensitive? Which of the two measures do you think will be most effective for the neighborhood and what will the impact be after the changes are made? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)