Protesters call on city of Hollywood to change street names honoring Confederate generals

Vice mayor moved to tears during meeting

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A shouting match took place inside the commission chambers in Hollywood Wednesday night.

In the end, five people were arrested, as city leaders were urged to rename streets that currently honor Confederate generals.

Take Down Slavery Symbols Hollywood, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward and several other organizations said the streets should be renamed since they honor Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, John B. Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was one of the founders of the KKK. 

Lee, Hood and Forrest streets are located within blocks of each other.

"Good guys are the only ones that need to be on our street signs," Lavelle Crawford, who wants the signs renamed, said. 

The organizations want the Hollywood Commission to order or vote for the immediate re-naming of the streets, waive all fees associated with changing the names and change the street names to names of cities with flourishing African-American populations.

Not all residents who live on the controversial streets agree with changing the street names.

"I think a lot of people will be against it who live in this area because it's been their address forever," Danielle Whichard, who lives on Forrest Street, said. "I don't want to change my street address because somebody's offended."

Others also voiced their opinions. 

"Think of the cost for the city to redo everything for anyone living on those streets," a resident against the change said. 

"This city was one of the largest slave ports," a resident  for the change said. 

"A great nation does not hide its history, it faces its flaws and corrects them," a resident for the change said. 

"We are about heritage, not hate, as some people would lead you to try to believe," a resident against the change said. 

Overall the meeting was relatively peaceful. 

Vice Mayor Traci Callari was moved to tears. 

"Change is hard at first," Callari said. "It's messy in the middle, but it's great in the end."

Mayor Josh Levy also weighed in. 

"This body and our city will look to its moral compass and do the right thing," he said. "We need patience in the process." 


About the Authors: